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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Small and Medium-Sized BusinessesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have no job creation strategy.

In the election campaign, our party announced that it wanted to generate concrete jobs in Canada through SMEs. In concrete terms, we proposed a tax credit for job creation. We proposed a tax cut for small businesses from 11% to 9%.

Is the government willing to listen to these ideas and take action in order to stimulate job creation?

Small and Medium-Sized BusinessesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, we know that business people create jobs throughout Canada, whether in Beauce, Vancouver or Newfoundland. We support these business people. The recent budget proves this.

I would like to remind my colleague that since the last recession, 500,000 new jobs were created here in Canada thanks to these business people, and we are going to continue to support them. That is why we are here, to create jobs. The economy is our top priority, and I would like the NDP to make the economy its top priority, too.

Royal VisitOral Questions

June 21st, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, our constitutional monarchy is an important part of Canada's heritage and history, as well as its future.

Last year, we were honoured to host Her Royal Highness, The Queen of Canada.

Would the Minister of Canadian Heritage please tell the House about this summer's tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?

Royal VisitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada on their royal tour. This is the third royal tour that Canada has seen in 18 months.

We are delighted that the royal couple have decided to visit Canada on their first international tour as newlyweds.

During the royal couple's visit, they will watch the Canada Day noon show here on Parliament Hill, participate in the Freedom of the City ceremony with the Royal 22nd Regiment in Quebec City, tour the Canadian Coast Guard ship, the Edward Cornwallis, in P.E.I., meet with the Canadian Ranger Patrol in the Northwest Territories, and participate in the Calgary Stampede parade.

This royal tour is a fine opportunity to show the pride we feel in our traditions.

All Canadians welcome the royal couple to Canada on this, the third royal visit in 18 months. It will be a great time for Canada.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the 2011 budget talks about introducing rules for prepaid credit cards and credit cheque advances, without explaining how it will be done.

With household debt skyrocketing, we need a strategy now.

Will the government commit to introducing comprehensive legislation that would protect consumers from being gouged by credit companies and will the government commit to a timeline for introducing this legislation?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the last part of the question, that would be in the subsequent budget implementation acts following the one that is before the House now.

We have already brought in credit card regulations, as I am sure the member opposite knows, requiring clear and simple information, timely advance notice of rates and fee changes, and limiting any consumer business practices.

There is more to be done. It is outlined in the budget.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada reported yesterday that household debt has skyrocketed again to a record new level. The household debt-to-income ratio is now around 150%. The federal deficit-to-income ratio, by comparison, is just 34%.

When will the government stop blaming Canadians and act to protect consumers from the predatory practices of credit card companies?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I understand the strange position, the contradictory position, taken by the member opposite, he is saying that the government ought to act to restrict credit at the same time that we ought to encourage consumer confidence, economic activity, job creation, and growth in the country. Those are contradictory goals.

We have said to Canadians very clearly that interest rates have only one way to go, and that is up, over time, and they ought to be prudent in their spending.

We have not seen any evidence of any imprudence, in terms of the Canadian housing market.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Statistics Canada confirmed the seriousness of the household debt crisis in Canada. On average, there is a $1.50 debt for every dollar earned. The list of experts sounding the alarm is growing longer: the Bank of Canada, Statistics Canada, CGA-Canada. Everyone criticizes the, quote, disastrous situation for indebted families.

How can the government justify its inaction in the face of this family debt crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, interest rates have been low for some time, as I am sure the member opposite appreciates. That has meant some continued economic growth, moderate economic growth in Canada, which is welcome.

We anticipate, as the private sector economists do, that we will continue to have that moderate economic growth in Canada, which will lead us to balanced budgets.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the real problem is that the government has left Canadian families to their fate with their record debt levels. Families are no longer able to save for their future or their children’s future.

The indifference of the Conservatives is a threat to all our futures. Will the government finally protect consumers rather than the profits of the big banks?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian economy is in good shape. It is the best shape in the G7. The IMF says so.

The Conference Board of Canada says:

Canada’s economic fundamentals--fiscal policies, tax policy, monetary policy and management of the exchange rate--are arguably in the best shape in the developed world.

Canada is doing well.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, last month the Federal Court ordered a judicial review in the case of over 750 fishermen involved in the Atlantic groundfish licence retirement program, who have been fighting for fairness before the court since 2006.

Fishermen in this program were not treated equally or fairly, and paid thousands of dollars more in taxes than they should have.

Will the Minister of National Revenue do the right thing and immediately settle with these fishermen who are being treated so unfairly?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the House and those fishers in Atlantic Canada affected directly by this court case that the government will not appeal this decision, and CRA will now reconsider the fishers' claim as requested by the Federal Court.

I would also remind the House that our government created the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, along with the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman. We have the absolute expectation that CRA administers Canadian tax law in a manner that is fair and consistent for all Canadians.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, today, Hank Tepper, a New Brunswick farmer held in a Lebanese jail for three months, asked the Minister of Justice to charge him here in Canada for the offence alleged by Algerian authorities.

Every element of the alleged offence occurred in Canada. Why not lay the charge here, allow the Lebanese authorities to send him back to Canada, where he can clear his name and appear before a Canadian court with the protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

He is anxious to make full answer and defence to the charges against him. Why does the minister not do the right thing, charge him in Canada, as his lawyer asked today, have him come back here and let him clear his name in Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government is very concerned about this case and Mr. Tepper's family in Canada during this difficult time.

Consular officials in Lebanon have been actively providing consular assistance and support to Mr. Tepper and his family since his arrest, including regular visits to ensure his health and well-being.

We will continue to engage with senior Lebanese authorities to request due process and a timely and transparent handling of these facts.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position on asbestos is morally and ethically reprehensible, and even as we speak, teams of Department of Justice lawyers have been dispatched to Geneva to sabotage the Rotterdam Convention once again, the list of hazardous chemicals that require prior informed consent to trade.

Canada is already an international pariah for its policy on asbestos, for dumping it into the third world when we will not use it ourselves.

How can we in all good conscience block efforts to put labels on asbestos to warn its recipients to take health and safety protections against this class A carcinogen? What kind of country are we?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years the Government of Canada has promoted the safe and controlled use of chrysotile, both domestically and internationally.

Our position at Rotterdam is the same as it is in Canada. All scientific reviews clearly confirm that chrysotile fibres can be used safely under controlled situations.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, public health experts and occupational health experts the world over agree that there is no safe way to use asbestos.

Not a single reliable study in the world shows that asbestos can be used safely, as the Minister of Natural Resources contends.

Asbestos should be added to the Rotterdam Convention.

How can the minister continue to defend the indefensible?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I said, all the recent scientific reviews show that chrysotile can be used in a safe and controlled manner. The Chrysotile Institute is mandated by the federal government, the Government of Quebec and the chrysotile workers unions to support the attempts to promote the safe and controlled use of chrysotile in Canada and around the world.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the label of tough on crime is not something that Canadians would generally associate with the Liberal Party. In fact, quite the opposite.

Yet today, in an attempt to change the channel, a Liberal senator has been discussing his views on how our government should deal with crime. Interestingly, he describes keeping dangerous criminals off the street as a folly. I am sure victims of crime and members of the House would strongly disagree.

Can the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on what the government is doing to keep Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his support of legislation to protect victims of crime.

Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to get tough on crime, and we will not apologize for putting the protection of law-abiding Canadians first. That is why we have made significant investments in the RCMP. We have seen recruitment numbers boosted to record levels that former governments could only dream about.

Unlike the NDP and the Liberal Party, we will not put criminals back on the street early just to save a buck.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 4 last year, a young Canadian, Colin Rutherford, was kidnapped in Afghanistan and accused of being a spy.

His kidnappers have contacted Canadian officials with their demands. His family has not been told what the demands are. Once again, a Canadian overseas needs the help of the government.

Other than lip service, what have the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his officials done to secure the release and safe return of Colin Rutherford to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is aware of this case.

Due to security and privacy concerns, it would be absolutely inappropriate for us to comment on this case.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's lack of transparency around visitor visas is causing heartache for families right across Canada at times of weddings and funerals.

One in five will be denied a visa this year. For Newton—North Delta, the percentage is much higher. Visitors have no idea why they are rejected or what they can do to qualify. People are frustrated and they want answers.

Will the government implement a transparent and open appeal process for visas?