House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has told us that there is going to be a cost to the Canadian taxpayer of $1.2 billion for the Liberal tax scheme, which gives a Canadian family just under $550.

Yesterday, the Premier of Ontario, the Prime Minister's bestie, announced that she is going to put a 4.5 cent tax on a litre of gasoline. It is about $900 a year for Canadian families. So much for the plan. One Liberal government gives; the other one takes away.

My question is this: does Minister of Finance realize, or is it the plan, that he is using the federal credit card in order to pay the Ontario Liberal bill?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.

This government has a plan for the middle class. In December, this government committed to lowering taxes for the middle class. In the next budget, we will follow up by making historic investments in infrastructure, innovation, and productivity. This government is the middle-class government. We were elected on that platform, and that is what we will continue to do.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is called a carbon tax. Ontario is bringing it in. It is 4.5 cents on a litre of gas, which means a lot to the people who haul our trade in this country, like the truck drivers in Brampton and Milton, my part of the world.

Nine consecutive years of deficits for Kathleen Wynne's government and a big tax coming at the end. Is that what we can expect from these guys as well, with all these deficits leading to nothing but burying Canadians in taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the one thing we will never take is lessons from the previous government about deficits. That is for sure. Let me tell the House that.

We have a plan to invest in the economy, and that is exactly what we are going to do. We were clear with Canadians in October that we will do it responsibly. We will continue to reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio throughout our mandate. We still have the goal of balancing the budget. That is a responsible government.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, those are fine words, but despite what we are hearing, this government has no plan for stimulating the economy or creating jobs. It is also ignoring those who have projects. For example, the reeve of the Appalaches RCM and the mayor of Thetford Mines are unable to get a meeting with government members. They want to present a natural gas network expansion project that could support the jobs of 1,300 workers.

Can the Liberals tell us when they are going to attend such a meeting? Where is their plan to develop the regions of Quebec?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, we are an open and transparent government. Our doors are always open.

We will work with anyone who has a plan to grow the economy and create jobs. That is why we made investments in different sectors, not only in Quebec but across Canada. Let me name a few: aerospace, automotive, business services, chemicals and plastics, digital media, financial services, food and beverage, medical devices, mining industries, oil and gas, renewable energy, retail, and software.

We will continue to invest in the economy. We will continue to grow the economy. We will make sure that we have good quality jobs.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the Liberal government spends billions of dollars outside of Canada on the Prime Minister's vanity projects, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are losing their jobs right here at home.

To make matters worse, the Minister of Environment is proposing a punishing carbon tax grab, which will raise the price of everything, including gas, groceries, and housing. Provinces and territories, like Saskatchewan and Yukon, have resoundingly said no to a carbon tax.

When will the minister finally listen and abandon her foolish plan to tax Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 25th, 2016 / 2:30 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, in the last election, we were elected to tackle climate change. The previous government did nothing.

Eighty percent of Canadians currently live, or will live, in a jurisdiction where the provinces have taken leadership to put a price on carbon. Once again, do not take it from me. Mark Cameron, whom members might remember as a former policy adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said:

the most effective way to reduce emissions is to price them through a carbon fee—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. There are some former prime ministers we can mention by name, but not those who are still in the House, as the member knows.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change has a few more seconds for her answer.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, sorry, I meant the former adviser to the former Prime Minister, who said:

As most free-market economists recognize, the most effective way to reduce emissions is to price them through a carbon fee or carbon trading system, and let the market find—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the mining sector is a major source of jobs for Canadians, especially in rural and remote communities and for indigenous people, but this important sector is being hit hard by low commodity prices. Now more than ever, they are counting on the mineral exploration tax credit, something our government proudly supported and renewed each year for nine years.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell the people whose jobs depend on mining in Canada if the mineral exploration tax credit will be continued and expanded by the Liberal government?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, members can imagine how warmly I welcome a question on the mining industry and how much I am looking forward to an upcoming meeting in Toronto with the prospectors, developers, and Canadian companies who are leading on the global stage, particularly on sustainable practices in mining.

Our government recognizes the important contribution of Canada's exploration and mining sector to our economy and to communities. Industry groups have stressed the importance of renewing the mineral exploration tax credit, and we are considering it as the upcoming budget approaches.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal platform attempted to raise revenue by taxing gains on stock options as income rather than capital gains. However, the Liberals forgot that doing so would allow corporations offering their stock options to deduct them, something they cannot do now. Economist Jack Mintz said that the net result would be a reduction in revenue.

Has the government actually found an innovative way to reduce government revenue while raising taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, the member has asked this question a few times, and I have told him that through our initiatives, we have been engaged with different businesses. When I talk to those businesses, they are very supportive of our innovation agenda. They appreciate the fact that not only are we investing in start-ups, but we are helping them scale up. We are creating an environment for SMEs to succeed not only in Canada but globally. We are doing so through investments in R and D through our industrial research assistance program.

These are the commitments we made in our platform when we talked about our innovation agenda. These are the commitments we are going to honour to grow our economy.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the election, the Liberals have been sowing confusion around their promises about marijuana.

Yesterday, the Federal Court of British Columbia declared the previous government's regulations on cannabis unconstitutional. The Conservatives had stripped medical marijuana users of their right to grow their own plants at home.

My question is simple. Does the Minister of Justice intend to comply with that ruling?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the decision that came down yesterday from the courts only concerns medical marijuana, and it is very important to assist the member opposite in clearing up some of the confusion her party is apparently experiencing. This ruling in no way affects the existing criminal prohibition on the possession, production, and trafficking of marijuana for non-medical purposes.

The decision delivered yesterday is being reviewed by staff, and both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice, who will be advising this government shortly.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the current government is sowing confusion left and right on marijuana. The Liberals promised to legalize it, but they offered no timeline. When the chiefs of police complained that this was creating uncertainty, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice helpfully cleared things up when he said that, well, the current approach of criminalizing people for possession is failing, but the government is still going to continue the current approach indefinitely.

Why does the government not clear up the confusion and simply decriminalize personal possession of marijuana immediately?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Victoria for the opportunity to clear up his confusion.

The government has been very clear and unequivocal. We have a very clear plan to legalize, regulate, and restrict the access to marijuana. Furthermore, we want to remind all Canadians that until that important work is completed, the only control that is in place is the current criminal sanction for the production and trafficking of marijuana, and those laws remain in effect.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to encourage Canadians to stop smoking. Now the government wants Canadian kids to have access to a drug to smoke, marijuana. Parents are scared and concerned for their children. The government is sending out mixed signals. On the one hand, it claims it wants to enforce the law, but on the other hand, it has not appealed the B.C. decision to allow marijuana in the hands of children.

Will the Minister of Health take responsibility for this action and compel her colleague the Minister of Justice to appeal this decision? Will she step forward with me to protect Canadian kids from this mind-altering drug?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is vitally important that those who need marijuana for medical use as prescribed by a medical professional have access to it.

I would like to quote from the court case, specifically section 1(2), which states:

This case is not about the legalization of marihuana generally or the liberalization of its recreational or life-style use. Nor is it about the commercialization of marihuana for such purposes.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are making a mess out of the marijuana file, and it is just one more example of Liberal incoherence. They say that pot is illegal but it should be sold in liquor stores. Police chiefs across this country are asking for clarity on whether or not they should enforce the law. We know that marijuana is dangerous for kids, yet in Vancouver there are now more pot shops than there are Starbucks.

What is the Liberal plan to keep marijuana out of the hands of our children?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have another opportunity to clear up some of the confusion and apparently this hazy fog that has descended over members opposite.

The science and the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that the best way to protect our kids, to get organized crime out of the business of selling marijuana in our communities, and to ensure a robust public health response is through strict regulation. That is what we are doing. We have a plan to consult with the provinces and territories and with scientific experts, and base our regulations on evidence and fact. We have been—

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Oshawa.

Physician-Assisted DyingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, seniors are among Canada's most important groups. They have helped build our country. Those suffering near the end of their lives with dementia are some of the most vulnerable. The Liberal doctor-assisted suicide plan would put our seniors at risk, especially seniors with dementia.

Why is the Minister of Health doing nothing to protect our vulnerable seniors?