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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely ridiculous.

The member has done his work with integrity. He has spoken out strongly against any form of tax evasion. Our government has tackled tax evasion. In fact, the Prime Minister was recently in Switzerland to sign an agreement that will crack down on tax fraud and tax evasion. We are a government that is getting things done to ensure tax fairness in this country.

TaxationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a good thing ridicule never killed anyone.

We have been calling on the Conservative government to be tougher on tax evasion and white collar crime, so it is shocking to see that the government has someone in its ranks who allegedly transferred funds to Switzerland to help a couple evade taxes.

Once again: will the Prime Minister relieve the member of his responsibilities with respect to the Treasury Board until the proceedings are completed?

TaxationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. This government is working to tackle the problem of tax evasion. The member in question has spoken out strongly against any form of tax evasion. We will continue to work hard to ensure that every Canadian pays his or her fair share because it is the right thing to do and we are doing it.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, while CIDA is spending $18 million on the reintegration of child soldiers in Nepal, Sudan and Colombia, the government did not bother to lift a finger to offer Omar Khadr the same protection that he was entitled to expect from Canada, which is a signatory to the protocol on child soldiers.

What CIDA is doing in those countries is commendable, but does the government not believe that it should fulfill its responsibilities toward Canadian citizens before it tries to give lessons to others?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Canada supports the rehabilitation of children in armed conflict who have been illegally recruited and used by fighting forces, particularly children who have been forced to commit crimes.

However, to conclude, I would say that if the hon. member took the time to read the optional protocol, he would see that it does not prohibit the prosecution of child soldiers.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's eagerness to help countries that are dealing with the painful reality of child soldiers is suspicious, considering the government's hypocrisy and cavalier attitude in its treatment of child soldier Omar Khadr.

Does the government's ambiguous attitude not suggest that perhaps Canada is using the protocol on child soldiers as a marketing tool on the international stage, while refusing to apply it to its own citizens?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe I was sufficiently clear in my response to the member's previous question. I repeat: the protocol in question in no way prohibits the prosecution of child soldiers. I would remind the House that Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to murders and conspiracy and admitted that he was a member of al-Qaeda. If my friends on the other side of the House would listen from time to time, maybe they would understand plain common sense.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's judgment is seriously in question when he chooses a chief of staff who has one foot in Bay Street and the other in the cabinet room.

Mr. Wright has millions of dollars of investments in steel, plastics, construction, automotives, insurance, electronics, cultural products, call centres and private health care, industries all under federal control.

How can the Conservatives seriously expect that he will recuse himself from all of these areas, or do they?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if that member had had his way, someone as talented and as capable as Paul Martin would never have been able to come to Ottawa and serve Canadians, or the Hon. Belinda Stronach, which is much the same thing.

We think it is incredibly positive that someone would give up a lucrative career to come to the nation's capital and make a commitment to public service. I wish we had more Canadians like that.

Mr. Wright has sought and followed all of the advice and counsel of the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He will be making a great contribution to the people of Canada.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that the government is in serious need of talent. The former environment minister is returning to Bay Street with no cooling off period. The Prime Minister's own code prohibits him from seeking employment with any company with which he has had dealings while in office.

Three days ago, the former minister approved the Mount Milligan mine. CIBC has a significant interest in that mine. Yesterday, the former minister was overseeing the environmental process concerning Enbridge's northern gateway project. CIBC has $200 million invested in that project.

Why is there no cooling off period required for the former minister--

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think all members of the House will regret seeing the minister move on to a different career. He made an outstanding contribution to Canada and an outstanding contribution to his constituency.

We all know the member is a decent man with great ethical standards. He sought the advice and counsel of the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner who approved his actions.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we continue to unearth more than a billion dollars in outrageous summit waste, the cost to Toronto is just starting to roll in.

Yesterday, it was revealed that businesses small and large paid a heavy price for the Conservative photo op. In the restaurant sector alone, 93% of downtown businesses saw significant losses over those two weeks. Average losses were 55% in what should have been the busiest week of the year. They have no compensation and no positive impact, only the pain of lost business and a government that does not seem to care.

In the middle of a recession, with businesses already hard hit, why has the government left them to suffer?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a compensation policy in place and it is the exact same policy used by previous governments for past summits.

All claims must be submitted by November 18 of this year in order to be eligible.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, six months later and guess how many have been paid? Zero. Every business has been left out in the cold. Only the Conservative government could spend $1 billion and put people out of work. This is an absolutely outrageous situation.

Businesses in the height of summer were counting on business. Those weeks were stolen from them. Six months later, is this the best the government can give them?

People's jobs are on the line. Businesses are on the line. The minister had better stand and give a better answer than that.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the feigned rage by my colleague will certainly not help these people receive what they are normally in line to receive.

Once again, the assessments of all claims will be made in co-operation with Audit Services Canada and payments will be administered in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government is focused on jobs and lowering taxes, the Liberals want to hike taxes, halting our recovery in its tracks and killing almost 400,000 jobs.

More and more Canadians are hearing how the Liberal plan will threaten jobs. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns that the Liberal tax hike plan is a “disastrous idea” that would “put the brakes on” job growth. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said, “Canadian business investment needed to sustain an economic recovery is threatened by [the] Liberal Party”.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance inform the House of our government's record on job creation?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again in October more Canadians went back to work. This shows yet again that Canada's economic action plan is keeping us on the recovery track.

Most encouraging and the most important part of this is that nearly 50,000 net new full-time jobs were created this past month. In fact, since July 2009, that brings us to nearly 430,000 net new jobs in this country. That is good news for Canadians and good news for Canadian families.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a very different picture in B.C. because the Conservatives' HST is damaging B.C. consumer confidence in this crucial holiday shopping season.

A poll this week shows that 73% of British Columbians believe the HST is having a negative impact on them, while 54% will spend less on decorations and two-thirds say that they will spend less on gifts all because of the HST.

When will the Conservatives finally take responsibility for the HST and the harm that it is creating to B.C.'s economy?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I encourage that hon. member to speak to those who make the decisions on the harmonization of sales tax and that would be her provincial colleagues.

However, I should not need to keep reminding everyone in the House how many times we have legislated tax cuts. Who voted against those cuts? It was the NDP. In fact, many of the coalition partners voted against those cuts.

If we had not cut so many taxes for Canadians, they would not all be going back to work and we would not be seeing the high number of job increases. Canadians are happy that this government is reducing taxes.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, those decisions on the HST began in this House with that government, aided by the Liberals, who rammed it through in December 2009. No wonder they are scared to face the voters of B.C.

We know the government could call a byelection in Prince George--Peace River any time and yet it seems happy to let that seat sit empty. I do not think the people of Prince George are happy without federal representation.

Is the government really so scared of the HST backlash that it is willing to delay democracy in Prince George? Will the government stand and announce that it will call the byelection today?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the only people in the House who should be scared of a backlash are the NDP, because every time we try to reduce taxes for Canadians, every time we try to put more money back in their pockets instead of the government's pockets, $3,000 per average family, those members vote against that.

If I were an NDP member, I would be very concerned about going back home this week and trying to explain that to my constituents.

AgricultureOral Questions

November 5th, 2010 / 11:45 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of State for Agriculture has been holding consultations for the past two years on the 98% standard for using the phrase “product of Canada”, the agriculture sector has been bearing the brunt of this labelling policy that the UPA describes as “incoherent, flawed and leaving the consumer unable to choose a Canadian product with complete certainty”.

Why does the minister not put a stop to this charade by immediately adopting an 85% standard, as all industry stakeholders, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food and his own officials are calling for?

AgricultureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, when Canadian families go grocery shopping, they look for Canadian products. The new guidelines for using the “Product of Canada” label provide Canadians with the information they need. There is nothing ambiguous about it; if it says “product of Canada” on the label, then the food it describes has to be Canadian.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with what the parliamentary secretary just said, except that Canadians and Quebeckers can no longer find labelled products of Canada on their grocery store shelves because of the Conservatives' policy. In addition to preventing our domestic products from being labelled as such, the Conservative government is letting in a growing number of foreign products that do not respect the same standards.

When will the minister take action against this unfair competition by giving the market access secretariat the mandate to ensure reciprocity of standards for imported products?