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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, more ministers were involved in the G8 gazebo fiasco. The Minister of the Environment also has a friend in the area. Here is what the Huntsville mayor's hand-picked operator got from the environment minister: “He told me he will whole heartedly support the Huntsville IMC at cabinet and wanted to make sure we pass along our pitch...ASAP”.

Can the Prime Minister explain the environment minister's involvement in the G8 slush fund?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the facts on this are well known. They have been completely reviewed by the Auditor General. The former minister of transport, who is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the decisions. There have been recommendations made by the Auditor General on how we can improve the process in the future, and we will do so.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, little by little, the truth is coming out. These new documents show that the Conservative ministers were given the authority to directly approve infrastructure projects submitted by members of Parliament.

We know that the President of the Treasury Board is heavily implicated. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is also involved, as is the Minister of Finance and now the Minister of the Environment. Something stinks, and it is spreading throughout the cabinet.

When will a parliamentary investigation be conducted to shed some light on the minister's re-election fund?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the facts on this are well known. They were reviewed by the Auditor General. She made recommendations, and we have indicated that we intend to follow those recommendations to improve the process in the future.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the documents from the Town of Huntsville show that the purse strings were opened because of the privileged relationship the Conservatives' friends have with Conservative ministers. The documents show that the G8 funds were mainly approved by the Minister of Finance.

Knowing how much control the Prime Minister and his office exert, we have to wonder: when will the Prime Minister take responsibility for the G8 funding scandal?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Auditor General reviewed all the relevant documentation. The government agreed to follow her recommendations to improve the process. We approved 32 projects, and all the funds have been transferred. They were good projects but we intend to review the recommendations and improve the process in the future.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, new documents now show that the maverick member from Muskoka was not alone in subverting accountability. We find out that the cabinet ministers were dividing up the cash and projects without any bureaucratic oversight whatsoever. They turned the cabinet table into a one-stop shop for pork.

What better way for the minister to get his hands on the money than to get one of his friends hired at $187 an hour to lobby other ministers? Will the minister come clean and tell us how many ministers he and his buddy lobbied in order for him to get his hands on the G8 slush fund?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the former minister of infrastructure has been clear. He approved all of these projects. This has been thoroughly aired by the Auditor General. Our government accepts the Auditor General's recommendations and we will improve the process for the future.

In a spirit of generosity, we are also giving the hon. member an opportunity to do the right thing and finally keep his promise to vote in favour of the elimination of the long gun registry as he has promised for so many years.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 130 days the fig leaf that the member is hiding behind is looking a little frayed over there because this is about the fact that he got his buddy hired. It was his idea. He called the mayor and said, “hire my buddy”. Then what did his buddy do? He started calling the other ministers to get his hands on the cash.

Buddies were hired by the minister, contracts were given on tender and the Auditor General was misled. The minister's fingers are all over this file. Will he release the documents that show who was in the meetings where it was decided how to carve up the money to get his hands on the G8 slush fund?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for infrastructure has indicated that he approved all of the projects. The matter has been completely aired. We accept the recommendations of the Auditor General to improve the process.

That hon. member has had two chances on his feet today. We have reintroduced legislation to eliminate the long gun registry, which he called for year after year during election time. I ask him to stand a third time and announce that he will keep his word, that he will do the right thing, that he will not break his faith with his constituents and that he will work with us--

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Wascana.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada today confirmed what the TD Bank, Scotiabank, BMO, the International Monetary Fund and others have said: that economic growth is slowing to a crawl both globally and here in Canada, where it is down 25%, and the risk is rising that things could get worse. Canadian jobs are obviously in jeopardy.

Why has the government increased the burden of EI payroll taxes this year by $600 million? Why is it adding another $1.2 billion in further job-killing payroll taxes next year?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is a surprising question coming from a party that has voted against every single tax reduction the government has brought into effect and in fact continues to oppose measures that are before the House at this time.

Obviously, the fact that we are in a fragile global recovery and that we are anticipating slow growth comes as no surprise to anyone on this side of the House. I welcome the Liberal Party to that realization. I encourage its members to do as we are doing, to focus on jobs and growth, and pass the important tax reduction measures that are before the House of Commons.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, a tax credit of $160 million does not fix a tax increase of $1.8 billion.

Among the Canadians getting clobbered on the stock market are those with RRSPs withering away. At age 71, they have no choice and must convert their RRSPs into registered income funds and begin reporting them as taxable.

Given the stock market turmoil, will the government show flexibility for seniors, flexibility on the date when RRSPs must be converted to RRIFs and flexibility on the minimum amounts to be taken into income?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again that is a surprising question from a party that has consistently opposed the tax measures that the government has brought in for Canadian seniors, including those as important as the tax-free savings account, income splitting for senior citizens and increases to the guaranteed income supplement.

I would encourage the members of the Liberal Party to support the measures that are before the House and actually support Canadian seniors rather than coming up with excuses as to why they constantly vote against good things for our Canadian seniors.

TaxationOral Questions

October 25th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government announced non-refundable tax credits for volunteer firefighters, caregivers and young people taking art lessons. Unfortunately, these tax credits are discriminatory because low-income Canadians cannot take advantage of them, since they simply do not pay enough taxes. We estimate that it would not cost much to make these tax credits refundable.

Is the government prepared to reconsider that?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again we have a problem with a member not practising what he preaches, or in fact an entire party not practising what it preaches.

The volunteer firefighters tax credit was in the budget. We brought forward the budget. We listened to the volunteer firefighters. We listened to our caucus on this side of the House. We brought it in. It was voted on in the House, and those members voted against it.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There is far too much noise coming from that end of the chamber.

The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were appalled yesterday to see a troubling video posted on the website of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture. At the very least it was insulting, and in the words of national Inuit leader Mary Simon it was “a racist slur”.

In the video a cartoon Wheat Board executive tells a farmer, “Slow down, young man. You are talking Eskimo....You cannot do those things in Saskatchewan”. The slur is used not once, but three times.

Will the parliamentary secretary please apologize to all Canadians for this slur?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that the offending video has been removed. I know the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands would certainly apologize to anyone who found it offensive. However, what he really finds offensive is the opposition's continued hammering at the government for allowing western Canadian farmers the freedom to market their own product. That is untenable.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, not only is the video insulting to aboriginal people, it insults the intelligence of the majority of farmers who voted to save the Canadian Wheat Board.

Simply taking the video off of the website is not enough. Will the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands or his government do the right thing and apologize to the Inuit people? Will he apologize for his government's arrogant dismissal of farmers' voices calling on the government to save the Wheat Board?

After having shown such disrespect, will the government now show respect by allowing farmers to have their voices heard and respected in their--

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what we do respect is the right of western Canadian farmers to have the same options as their cousins and colleagues in Ontario. What we are moving for is called fairness, the right to handle one's own product in a way, time, price and place of one's choosing.

I cannot understand why the opposition refuses to see that. Certainly the vast majority of farmers in western Canada are accepting of this. They want to move forward. We are already seeing value-added opportunities being announced. We know that small communities will benefit from this type of opportunity and we will move forward.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives really believe that prairie grain farmers will make more money by selling their grain outside of the Canadian Wheat Board, then that means every single Conservative MP involved in the grain industry is in a conflict of interest and must recuse themselves from the vote on Bill C-18.

If it is not true, then one must ask why the Conservatives are destroying this great Canadian institution if they do not in fact believe that it will be better for Canadian farmers.

They cannot have it both ways. Which is it, a conflict of interest or a reckless and irresponsible idea that will bring uncertainty and instability to the whole agricultural community of the Prairies?