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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

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is surprising to hear the Bloc talk blithely about an agreement with Quebec today. We have been working with the provinces for a long time on agreements to develop our natural resources in a responsible manner. Quebec has now shown interest, and as I said yesterday, talks are under way with our provincial counterparts.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources always has time for Conservative Party cocktail fundraisers attended by people who get lucrative contracts from his government. But when it comes time to address the legitimate aspirations of Quebec, which is calling for an agreement on the St. Lawrence seabed, the minister drags his feet.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources promise to settle this matter this fall?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has never shied away from practically spitting on fossil fuels. Now, suddenly, its head office says that this is a perfect opportunity to drive a wedge between the government and Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. That is what they want to do: be divisive.

That is not how we work. Our counterparts in Quebec are interested in settling this matter, and as I said, talks in good faith are under way as we speak.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, today there are 370,000 more unemployed Canadians than there were on the day of the last federal election.

Yet the Conservatives are looking at cancelling five important EI programs, programs like best 14 weeks and working while on claim. These are programs that have helped those most in need during these tough economic times. They have benefited the most vulnerable: youth, women, low-skilled workers, and low-income families.

Why are the Conservatives turning their backs on the most vulnerable Canadians in the time of their greatest need?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we helped people through the recession by keeping those programs going. In fact, we added to them, bringing in the five weeks supplementary benefits, raising the maximum benefits that were allowed. We also brought in support for long-tenured workers, who were particularly hard hit by the recession.

As for the pilot projects, they are just that. They are pilots. We are reviewing them. Any decision about their future will be based primarily on what is best for Canadian workers and for Canadian job creators.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a yes in that response. It is the business operators in the regions of this country who want and need these programs: tourism, agriculture, fishing, forestry. When those businesses lose that pool of labour, they lose their operations.

We know the attitude of the government and the Prime Minister toward the unemployed. They think they are defeatists; they think they are a no-good bunch of so-and-sos receiving generous benefits. We know the contempt they have for unemployed workers.

If the government will not do it for the workers, the government should do it for the businesses. It should just do it.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member could not hear me over the bellowing. I said that any decisions about the future of these pilot projects will be made in accordance with the best interests of Canadian workers and job creators.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Alberta energy minister cast cold water on the federal and provincial governments' multibillion dollar gifts of taxpayers' money to the fossil fuel industry to subsidize carbon capture and storage.

The minister said, “The strategy is questionable and likely not economically feasible”. NASA's top scientists agree.

Will the government wake up, end the billion dollar tax giveaway for coal and oil sands, reinstate the eco-energy retrofit program, and help struggling seniors, students, and small businesses?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. friend's question. I think she is fully aware that the only abatement technology to actually reduce carbon emissions from, for example, coal-fired electricity plants is carbon capture and storage.

She would surely be aware that over 40% of the carbon in the atmosphere today actually came from burning coal. This is the only technology that holds the promise of reducing these emissions. Canada leads the world. We are spending more per capita on these investments than any other country. This has been acknowledged by the International Energy Agency and many other agencies.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the House should know that coal gasification is the only proven technology right now.

What is happening in Hungary right now is devastating. Our hearts go out to this community, which was struck by a sea of toxic red sludge that broke through the industrial berm.

I feel a visceral connection with them, having been affected by the devastating oil spill at Lake Wabamum. This disaster should be a wake-up call for government, a call for action on the unanimous response by the House to ensure federal readiness to deal with similar disasters.

When will the government act?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have all had a visceral reaction to what we have seen in Hungary, but I think that we should be responsible in what we say to Canadians.

First, there were clear indications of long-term instability in the dam that broke. In Canada, facilities are designed and constructed to a much higher standard, the Canadian Dam Association's dam safety guidelines of 1999.

They demand long-term stability. They take into consideration seismic conditions and worst-perceived local conditions. In Canada, these kinds of facilities are safe and we do not have the problems that others have experienced elsewhere.

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, during Monday's meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, some committee members expressed their displeasure with the actions of the NDP member for Vancouver Kingsway.

Could the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security please inform the House of these antics and update the members on future committee business?

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, we were all very disappointed with what transpired at that Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meeting.

The opposition moved a motion to conduct future business in camera. Before the two hour meeting was over, it would appear the New Democratic Party member was issuing a press release of the very items that took place within that meeting.

If we are going to build goodwill in committees and in the House, we must honour the parliamentary rules. The public safety committee has several pieces of legislation before it, important legislation which Canadians, victims and law enforcement--

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Brantford Municipal Council received praise from the Chamber of Commerce when it applied for an economically driven roads project over the political glitz of an arena. However, the Conservatives preferred the photo op. They forced Brantford to rush ill-prepared into the arena and now, with arenas proliferating in its region, Brantford faces a bidding war for labour and has already gone at least $1 million over budget.

Why do the Conservatives show such contempt for the money of hard-working taxpayers?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I saw that the hon. member raised this yesterday in his wacky news release.

What happened in the area of Brantford was a good number of infrastructure dollars went into Route 16 for rehabilitation of that country road. There was a substantial investment in the Wayne Gretsky sports complex, which was much demanded. Then there was the new community centre in Brant county.

Which one of these projects does the member think was so bad for the people of Brant and Brantford? Those applications came in from the district and we funded them. Could the member identify which one of those he wishes we had never invested in?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, responding to FADOQ's initiative, thousands of seniors have signed a petition calling for this heartless government to improve the guaranteed income supplement. This government claims, with a straight face, to have done everything for seniors.

Can the minister tell us if she will heed this call for improvements to the GIS and increase the monthly benefits by $110 in order help the tens of thousands of seniors living below the low-income cutoff?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, she should know that our government has done a great deal for seniors, especially those with low incomes.

One of our accomplishments is our plan to increase the tax exemption on revenue from the GIS by $500, and another is a subsidy that has increased from $500 million to $3.5 billion, which has helped 1.6 million seniors. In addition, we have made access to the guaranteed income supplement automatic when a request is made and when they continue—

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

CensusOral Questions

October 7th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week a Vanier Institute report has shown that life is getting harder and tougher for Canadian families. Students are graduating with crushing debt. Families are struggling to care for the elderly. Parents have no affordable child care.

Not only are the Conservatives ignoring Canadian families, they are trying to make their struggles disappear by scrapping the long form census. When will the government do the right thing and reinstate the long form census?

CensusOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have answered this question several times. The fact is the government has not scrapped anything. We have moved to a national household survey. We have decided to treat Canadians as adults.

We think the information is important. We think, when properly educated, Canadians will give that information to the government. We just think it is inappropriate for the government to threaten Canadians with fines because they do not want to tell the government how much yard work they do or what their religion is.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal public safety critic again showed his true colours and got soft on crime. The member for Ajax—Pickering claimed our investments to keep criminals behind bars would not make us any safer. Instead he championed the failed prison farm program. A program that lost millions of dollars a year with a 1% success rate is something any Liberal can be proud of.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster of Public Safety please remind the Liberal public safety critic what it actually takes to keep our communities safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his hard work on this file. Unlike the Liberal public safety critic, our Conservative government believes investments that keep dangerous criminals behind bars make Canada a safer place to live and raise a family.

We do not agree with the member for Ajax—Pickering who considers a program with a 1% success rate to be the most successful in the country. We think law-abiding Canadians deserve better than 1% and they deserve to feel safe. I wish the Liberal Party did as well.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of funding for much needed road projects, the town of Brantford was handed fancy photo ops and platitudes by the member for Brant.

In terms of the minister's comments, he might be interested to know that very soon a Brantford councillor will be appearing before the transport committee and he will tell the whole sad tale of misplaced federal government priorities and waste. I encourage the minister to at least read the transcripts of that testimony, which will respond in great detail to his questions.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we look forward to the late show as I am sure the member will be a star.

This is the situation. We work together with the local MPPs from the area. They are both Liberals and they work together with the government. They put forward proposals along with the district. There was a project that did not meet the environmental standards. There were environmental problems that could not be approved in time.

As for the Wayne Gretzky sports complex, the new community centre in Brant county and the rehabilitation of roads, those sorts of projects were the ones given to us that we could approve in time, and they are being built.