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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberals.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only thing we will cancel is the Liberals' tax raising plan.

This House of Commons voted on and approved our low tax plan in 2007. That plan entails creating jobs. It reduces the costs for businesses, businesses that employ Canadians. The number one issue is getting people back to work, which will help grow our economy.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives increased payroll taxes on every small business in Canada in January. The finance committee has asked the government for projections of corporate profits. The Conservatives say that they are secret and that they are cabinet confidence, but the Liberals published this information on page 83 of their 2005 fall economic statement.

If information about corporate profits was not a secret under the Liberals, why is it a secret under the Conservatives? Why are the Conservatives hiding the real costs of their reckless corporate tax cuts from Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only secret that I see here is why the Liberals have totally changed their position.

The Liberals used to support our job creators. They used to encourage lowering taxes so our businesses could hire more Canadians. All of a sudden the Liberals have forgotten that they voted for this and supported this. It is important for our businesses. They have planned for this. Our low tax plan helps businesses but, most important, we reduced taxes for the average family of four by $3,000 a year.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a letter to his federal counterpart, the Quebec finance minister, Raymond Bachand, pointed out that the 2009 federal budget clearly stated that five provinces had not yet harmonized their sales taxes with the GST. Quebec was not one of those provinces; it was not mentioned.

Why, then, is the Conservative government still refusing to compensate Quebec, as it has done with the provinces that have harmonized their sales taxes with the GST?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is in favour of harmonizing provincial sales taxes with the federal tax. The leader of the Bloc himself has indicated that Quebec's sales tax is completely different in many ways from the federal tax. However, we have made progress in the negotiations, which are continuing.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the same letter, Mr. Bachand also asks the federal Minister of Finance to exclude measures to fight tax evasion from the harmonization agreement.

Can the Prime Minister tell us if this is the stumbling block in the negotiations and, if it is, will he accept the arguments of Quebec's finance minister in order to fight tax evasion?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are in talks with the Province of Quebec to harmonize these taxes. We always listen to good ideas. As the Bloc leader just mentioned, there are still differences in our positions, but we have been negotiating for a long time and are making important progress. I am optimistic that we can reach an agreement.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said that he did not want to negotiate with us, but that will not prevent us from defending the interests of Quebec. Quebec has been incredibly patient. But our patience is running out. It is time to sign the cheque. The letter from Quebec's finance minister made it clear that he firmly intends to preserve Quebec's fiscal sovereignty.

Is that what is bugging the Minister of Finance? Is that why the Minister of Finance is refusing to respect Quebec's fiscal sovereignty? Is that the stumbling block?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only stumbling block is the fact that Quebec and the Government of Canada are still negotiating full harmonization. When that happens, we will be happy to sit down and negotiate a deal, just like we have done with other provinces.

The harmonization of the sales tax is a provincial decision. We would encourage the negotiations to continue and we look forward to a successful outcome.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has been negotiating for months and years with a minister who wants nothing to do with it and keeps making up excuses. If the federal government had the political will to resolve this issue, it would do so in the upcoming budget.

Is it time for the Prime Minister to step in and quickly resolve the impasse? Will the Prime Minister take over and use the upcoming budget to give Quebec the $2.2 billion it is owed for tax harmonization? Is it time for the Prime Minister to get involved once and for all?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, once again I will emphasize that negotiations between the Government of Quebec, not the Bloc, and the federal government on the harmonization of Quebec sales tax continues. It continues in good faith and we look forward to a successful outcome to that.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

February 8th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives raised hell about patronage every time a Liberal was appointed by Paul Martin or Jean Chrétien but now that they are in power all the outrage is gone.

Connected Conservatives are appointed left and right, mostly right, to the Senate, to the Immigration and Refugee Board, to the CRTC and now to the CBC. When the Prime Minister pretended to care, he was very clear when he said, “This has got to stop, and when we become government, it will stop”.

Why did he change his mind? Why was Liberal patronage a bad thing but Conservative patronage a good thing?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague raises the issue of Mr. Gingras being appointed to the board of the CBC. This is a qualified appointment of somebody who is well-respected in the province of Quebec.

She says that he is a Conservative hack. I wonder what kind of a Conservative hack was a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in 2004.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, what were the criteria for hiring Tom Pentefountas? Was it a partisan appointment? Now the minister is naming another friend of the government, Pierre Gingras, to the board of the CBC. He also comes from the ADQ party, just like Pentefountas, just like Soudas, just like Housakos.

How can the minister claim that Canadians whose only qualification is being a friend of the government are not in a conflict of interest situation?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I just said to the House Leader of the New Democratic Party, there is no conflict of interest. Mr. Gingras is qualified for the position at the CBC. He is well known and well respected in Quebec. He will do a very good job at the CBC.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, there were eight qualified candidates short-listed and interviewed for the position of CRTC vice-chair, and Tom Pentefountas was not on that list.

We know there was direct involvement in the nomination from the PMO, which means direct involvement from Dimitri Soudas.

This is the kicker. The process closed in June and, five months later, in December, Tom Pentefountas told the national media that he did not know anything about the job. So, either Pentefountas was lying or someone fast-tracked his appointment when he was not eligible.

Who put him on the top of the list and who broke the rules to put him there?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the fantasies of the member for Timmins—James Bay never cease to amaze.

Tom Pentefountas is qualified for the job. He will do a fine job. He is intelligent, bilingual and thoughtful and will do a great job at the CRTC.

The member for Timmins—James Bay can go on with his conspiracy theories all he wants. We are proud of this appointment and he will do a fine job.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, more than one out of every two Canadians works for an SME. That is nearly 55%. In order to be eligible for the Conservatives' tax breaks, companies need profits, and not the small or average profits made by SMEs. No, it takes very large profits: a minimum of half a million dollars.

Why are big banks and oil companies being given $6 billion in tax breaks, while owners of SMEs are not being given anything at all?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, in all of our consultations with small business, the one thing we have not heard is that business wants to go back to the high tax ways of the Liberals. That is why our government has been steadfastly lowering taxes on small business, including raising the threshold at which small businesses are taxed, lowering the tax rates and freezing employment insurance premiums during the economic downturn.

When it comes to delivering and standing up for small businesses, our government is getting it done.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know of many family-run convenience stores that make half a million dollars in profits. There are no pizzerias in my riding that make half a million dollars. Millionaire mechanics are not a dime a dozen.

Does the minister agree that the Bay Street banks and Calgary oil companies are more likely to benefit from this largesse than convenience stores, pizzerias or garages?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I have a quote that reads, “The small and medium-sized business sector is very integrated with the large businesses sector in Canada. Therefore, measures that benefit one also benefit the other. We also have seen right through the economy that our very competitive corporate tax climate, which is viewed around the world as very attractive, has already brought investment to Canada, and naturally that is a win for everyone”.

That is from Catherine Swift, Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Human ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, more and more Canadians need to take care of their aging and sick loved ones at home, placing a heavy burden on them in cost and time. Seventy-five per cent of then say that their personal finances have suffered.

Home care makes sense. It frees up non-acute hospital beds, lowers waiting lists and decreases cost. Why will the government not pay attention to these facts? Why does it not take the necessary steps to help families care for their loved ones at home?

Human ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government does recognize the needs of those families who need extra time off work to take care of some family member who is critically ill or indeed is going through a long-term malady. That is exactly why one of the first things we did as a government was make it easier for people to qualify to take EI compassionate care leave. We increased the number of people who are eligible.

We also brought in, for the very first time in Canadian history, the opportunity for the self-employed to participate in that program. We are proud to be able to help.

Human ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not understand. This does not give families the help they need.

Aging and disease do not discriminate. Every family will need to care for loved ones at some point and the needed support structure does not exist at the moment. Eighty-five per cent of Canadians cannot afford to hire a professional person to care for their families for more than three months. The burden of care is on them. The Canadian cancer institute just confirmed it. Families cannot and should not go it alone.

Why will the Conservatives not stand up for Canadian--

Human ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.