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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaties.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Liberal opposition wants to raise taxes. The Liberals want to raise personal taxes for Canadians. They want to raise taxes for small and medium-sized Canadian businesses. They even muse about raising the GST.

We know, from the way they have voted in this place, that they are opposed to the tax reductions that we have made over the last four years; that is, $3,000 on average for every Canadian family in tax reductions over the course of the past four years.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that minister drove the province of Ontario into debt. Now he is doing the same to our country.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would urge a little self-control on all hon. members. The member for Mississauga—Streetsville has the floor and we need to be able to hear the question the member is asking. The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

It is thanks to a decade of sound Liberal financial management that we are not in the same mess as Greece and other countries.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

The Liberals slew the Mulroney deficit. We cut personal and business taxes when we had surpluses because it was the right thing to do.

What did the Prime Minister and his Reform colleagues do? They voted against every tax cut for 10 years. Now they want to use borrowed money to pay for corporate tax cuts when the country is mired in a $54 billion Conservative deficit.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the lobbed question.

I know the Liberals are in favour of raising taxes but most Canadians do not want to pay more taxes and they do not want to go through the cuts that the Liberal government made in the mid-1990s.

I am in good company with a former premier of Ontario, the member for Toronto Centre, when he criticized the federal government for cutting expenses on the backs of nurses, students, teachers and--

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only party that wants to raise taxes is the Conservative Party with its massive EI premium hikes, costing 200,000 jobs.

The Conservatives are increasing the deficit by borrowing billions of dollars to finance corporate tax cuts. Obviously, they are going to pass the bill on to the taxpayers, who will have to absorb all this extra debt.

Why make families in debt pay for corporate tax cuts?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Again, Mr. Speaker, I think I am in good company with respect to the tax issue. The member for Markham—Unionville said, “corporate tax cuts are one of the best strategies to attract investment and help manufacturers battered by the high Canadian dollar”.

At least that is how he felt in 2007. He may have been philosophically misguided since then, but still, most Canadians believe in the reduction of taxes. They see it in the strength of our economy. They see the strength of our economy precisely because we have reduced the cost of doing business in this country.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we must remember that in 2007 we were running a surplus and we were in favour of lower corporate taxes, but not when it puts the country into greater debt, which is exactly what the minister is doing.

We are at a crossroads: borrow money today to cut corporate taxes or freeze corporate taxes, fight the deficit and invest in education.

We can take the Conservative path of the eighties and become more like Greece or the Liberal path of the nineties and become more prosperous. Why are the Conservatives choosing more debt over prosperity?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know what the Liberal government wreaked on the Canadian people in the mid-1990s, what it did to our schools, what it did to higher tuition in universities, what it did to our hospitals and what it did to nurses. All of those things, that is what the Liberals did in the 1990s.

This is Canada. We have the best fiscal situation in the G7. We have the soundest financial system in the G7. We have the highest credit rating in the world. The hon. member should be proud of the performance of his country and stop knocking it.

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has asked Canada to add the fight against climate change to the G20 agenda. What was the Prime Minister's response? The agenda will focus on the economy. That says it all. For the Prime Minister, the economy and the environment do not go hand in hand. Sustainable development is a foreign concept to him.

How can the Prime Minister separate the environment and the economy when it is obvious that the environment is not an obstacle to but a motor for economic development?

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister indicated that many topics will be discussed at the G8, including climate change.

Our government supported the Copenhagen accord in December. We have committed, along with other countries, to making this accord an international treaty. That is why I recently went to Bonn to take part in meetings with environment ministers. The Bloc should be supporting our efforts.

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by saying that the environment has no place at the G20, the Prime Minister is refusing to look at the economic opportunities associated with environmental protection. He thinks that Kyoto is expensive and of no benefit. But that is not true. Green technologies and a carbon exchange represent opportunities for Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister admit that implementing Kyoto is costly for oil companies but not implementing it is costly for Quebec?

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member overlooks the fact that since December we have had more than 120 countries internationally associate themselves with the Copenhagen accord, accounting for in excess of 85% of the world's carbon emissions.

That is the way forward. Ban Ki-moon said that yesterday when he was in Ottawa. Canada is part of those discussions. We have been taking part in those discussions in the major economies forum. We also took part in the recent Bonn meeting of the environment ministers. Those are the forums in which the Copenhagen accord will be converted into an international treaty. The Bloc and the other opposition parties should support our efforts.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Power Corporation has added its voice to the broad coalition in the Quebec business community that rejects the federal government's plans for a single securities commission in Toronto. The president and CEO of Power Financial Corporation said that the AMF is doing a fine job.

Will the government continue to insist on dismantling the AMF or will it listen to the wise counsel of the Desmarais family, who wants the government to put off its unfortunate plan to set up a securities commission in Toronto?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the AMF can continue in existence if that is what the Government of Quebec wants. We will respect provincial jurisdictions. The provinces' and territories' participation will be voluntary. Quebec and Quebec alone will decide if it wants to continue with AMF regulations.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec finance minister just told him that that is nonsense. Power Corporation opposes this plan. Does my colleague know what Power Corporation is? Yesterday he was wondering about financial institutions. Power Corporation is Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life, London Life, Investors Group, Mackenzie Financial, La Presse, Le Droit and so on. They are the ones saying that the existing system works well.

Why fix something that is not broken?

If it is not broken, why fix it?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know we will be going on a parliamentary break now, which is probably a good idea because I think the member for the Bloc needs a rest. He is aligning himself with Power Corporation. I never thought I would hear that in this place the socialist party from Quebec aligning itself with Power Corporation.

It should be known, of course, that the comments by Power Corporation covered both sides of the issue and it does want to see more work done on it.

The point is this that those provinces that wish to join the common securities regulator can and those that do not can continue regulating in their own jurisdictions. The choice is for Quebec.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

May 13th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, four months ago yesterday, Haiti suffered a violent earthquake. In the days that followed, we called on the government to be flexible, like Quebec, and temporarily broaden the definition of family member. We also offered to support any legislation needed to make that happen.

Will the minister promise today to broaden the definition of family member so that all our fellow citizens of Haitian origin can help their relatives?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. We have already announced special measures to expedite family sponsorship of Haitian nationals. I am happy to announce that under those measures we have already finalized more than 50% of the family sponsorship applications that were in the system before the earthquake hit. That means that we have finalized 100 cases in just a few weeks. This is unprecedented in the history of our immigration system.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was not even the question. I am very concerned that our Canadian friends of Haitian origin will be bitterly disappointed at the Conservative government's answer.

Since the minister seems to be saying that his government will not consider sponsorship applications that do not fit within the existing definitions, does the government plan to refund the tens of thousands of dollars people have paid needlessly for sponsorship applications that will not even be considered?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the member clearly is not up on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which requires that applicants cover the costs of applications. People who apply to sponsor a family member have to prove that they are financially able to host and settle that person. That requirement is not political; it does not come from any party. It is a requirement of the law that was passed by the Liberal government.