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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, once again, the committees determine their own agendas. They determine their work program and they are, of course, doing that with an objective of reducing government spending. We appreciate the work of the Auditor General, because the Auditor General has been very helpful to us in providing recommendations on which we have relied in order to eliminate waste in government. That is what we want to do on this side of the House.

It is very interesting that New Democrats are raising these concerns, because usually they object to every effort we make to eliminate waste and to keep the cost and size of government under control.

We will continue to do that and we appreciate the help of the Auditor General in providing us information that helps us achieve that objective of respecting taxpayers' dollars above all else.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has more than once said that he is open to suggestions on the budget. Here is one suggestion. While the budget contains a number of tax credits for volunteer firemen, home caregivers and children taking arts courses, the problem is that these are not refundable. The solution to this is to make them refundable.

Will the Prime Minister consider this option, please?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for that question, because it gives me the opportunity to report just how our budgets, from past budgets to the budgets that are coming forward, are actually helping Canadians in a variety of ways, including the measures that were mentioned by my colleague.

In fact, thanks to our budget, I can report today that we have learned that over 60,000 jobs have been created, which brings the total number of jobs to approximately 650,000 since pre-crisis levels.

That is a fantastic budget from the past to the future. We will continue our progress.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a second question for the government. Japan recently decided to purchase fighter jets and has launched a call for tenders, as we should have done.

With a call for tenders, the best benefits are guaranteed and one can save a lot of money. Lockheed Martin has offered to assemble the F-35 jets in Japan, something it certainly did not offer to Canada. With a call for tenders, we would be guaranteed the best industrial benefits and we would save a lot of money. When will we have a call for tenders here in Canada?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all reasonable Canadians agree that we need fighter jets to protect our sovereignty. We will continue to ensure that our Canadian armed forces have the best equipment.

But we have a question. This F-35 program started under the Liberal government. Why are they now opposed to it? Why are they opposed to industrial benefits for cities like Montreal, for example?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, in Newfoundland and Labrador, rules surrounding access to the recreational food fishery continue to be unfair compared to other areas of Atlantic Canada. During the small window of opportunity this year the weather was deplorable, and during last week residents were not able to participate. Earlier this week I asked the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to extend the food fishery for this long weekend. Unfortunately, the minister has not responded to my request.

I ask the minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador: will he be fair and extend the recreational food fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador for this Thanksgiving long weekend?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I know the minister has taken account of this request, but I would remind the member that the most important thing is the conservation and sustainability of the fishery. I think my colleague will know that the fishery has been under significant stress over the last number of years, and we need to do make the best decisions for the future of the fishery for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, two days after the announcement of the construction of a new Champlain Bridge, south shore and Montreal families are still in the dark. They do not know exactly when they will have a safe bridge or how much it will cost. All they know is that they are going to have to bear the financial burden of the bridge.

Why does this government want to penalize families and workers who have no choice but to use the Champlain Bridge?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities announced the construction of a new bridge across the St. Lawrence in Montreal. I would like to commend the minister for his excellent work. This project will involve a public-private partnership and the use of tolls. That is the way to move forward with the construction of this new infrastructure. This is good news and I would like to invite the NDP members to finally support this action to improve transportation in Montreal.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge is a vital route for south shore and Montreal families. The bridge is free to cross but the Conservatives want to make people pay to use it.

When will this government pay attention to all Canadians instead of just to those who have the means to be heard?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the hon. member because it was his idea to have a toll system. He said, “In terms of tolls, it's still to be seen. Like we've always said, we're open.” He also said, “With regard to the Champlain Bridge's replacement, we're not dismissing the idea of tolls.” He had a good idea: to implement a toll. We listened to him and used his idea. I congratulate him, but now I would like to know why he has changed his mind.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government still refuses to say whether a viable public transit plan will be part of the new Champlain Bridge. First it is making Montreal and the south shore families foot the bill, and now it is ignoring 18,000 public transit passengers who cross that bridge each day.

The government members are so out of touch with the needs of Montreal and the south shore, we have to wonder whether they have ever been there. Why will the government not commit to a vital public transit plan for the Champlain Bridge?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, here is another NDP member with an excellent idea. The NDP transport critic, the hon. member who just spoke on the matter, has said, and I quote, “...as a party, we are not against PPPs”. He also said that in some cases tolls make sense. I congratulate him again on these great ideas. We listened to him and we thank him for giving his opinion on the matter.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not exactly the answer I was looking for. I was talking about public transit.

Why has the government not made any plans for public transit on the new Champlain Bridge? Every day, 400 buses carry 18,000 passengers across the bridge. There is a great demand. The minister keeps saying that it is a provincial responsibility, while repeating that the project is 100% federal. When will this government adopt a plan for public transit?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, prior to the announcement made by our great minister, the NDP had suggested a toll system to pay for the Champlain Bridge. That is why many people are now saying that the new name for the NDP should be “new duty to pay”. So I would like to thank the NDP member for suggesting this excellent idea. In the end, it is the Conservatives who are taking action and getting results for Montrealers and Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 7th, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has been a tough week for the Minister of the Environment. The environment commissioner slammed his work and Europe is proposing a fuel quality directive. The message is clear: the oil sands pollute too much to compete with clean energy. The public relations campaigns are not hiding the devastating impact of the oil sands.

When will the government recognize this?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we do not agree with the energy directive that has come out from the EU.

We are going to continue to work to represent and to protect Canadian oil sands interests and Canadian economic interests. We will stand with the workers. We will stand with the industry. We are going to protect the environment at the same time.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment went to great lengths to clear up the confusion around the muzzling of Environment Canada scientists. It seems that the department scientists are completely free, subject to availability of course, to speak with responsible journalists.

Would the minister please table in this House a list of these so-called responsible journalists so we can know to whom the government is actually talking about its failed environmental plans?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, economic growth and protecting the environment.

We are proud of the work of our scientists within Environment Canada. Ministers speak for the environment. That is what is laid out in our communication policy, and that is why we take questions in question period.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, in September, a 23-year-old woman was fatally shot on the Samson Cree Nation. She was killed in the house next door to where five-year-old Ethan Yellowbird was killed just two months earlier.

Youth gangs are responsible for the increasing violence in a community where youth are disaffected and hopeless.

If the government is truly sincere about assisting the most vulnerable, why does it persist in spending billions on prisons instead of investing in programs to prevent youth crime in first nations?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the situation with the Samson Cree. I did meet with the chief. He has been collaborating with the RCMP. The community has some very good plans. We have agreed to collaborate with that first nation and help finance some of the work that needs to be done. This is to break up the criminal element from being able to operate in the way that it was.

We are making progress and working collaboratively with that first nation.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has attested, the Samson Cree Nation initiated a joint review with the RCMP, the government and experts to address crime, which is among the highest in Canadian aboriginal communities.

The key recommendation supported by all parties was to provide a youth centre to provide programs to divert youth from gangs. The first nation is begging the government to fully cost share with it. It is struggling to find other funders.

Instead of spending billions more on jailing criminals after the fact, why will the government not offer more than one-fifth of the cost to build this centre and prevent more aboriginal victims of crime?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we do believe in working in partnership with the first nations.

The first nation, with its original proposal, talked about cost sharing. We are prepared to enter into cost-sharing agreements. We have done so. I think the actions we have agreed to take are appropriate for the circumstances.

Political Party SubsidiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Lise St-Denis NDP Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the measure announced by the government to phase out subsidies to political parties is itself partisan. The Conservative Party is using a parliamentary rule to crush political parties who do not benefit from the visibility of being in power to raise funds.

Will the government, before this House, commit to respecting usual parliamentary procedure for the debate on eliminating political subsidies?

Political Party SubsidiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 our government took big business and big labour out of politics with the Federal Accountability Act.

We are acting quickly to continue bringing transparency to government by phasing out the direct subsidy of political parties. We think money should come from voters, not from corporations, not from unions, and not from government.

Political parties should do their own fundraising and not live off taxpayer-funded handouts.