House of Commons Hansard #214 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, nuclear disarmament is certainly our goal and we are taking measures to accede to the treaty the member opposite is referring to.

It was negotiated without the participation of nuclear weapons states, meaning it will not disarm a single nuclear weapon. Remember, in 2016, Canada rallied 159 states to help pass a treaty to see a fissile material cut-off. This is real and concrete work, and that is what we are doing as Canadians.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's excuses for not signing the nuclear ban treaty are ridiculous, and they know it. Canada's absence from the nuclear ban negotiations was shameful. This is a crucial moment.

At what point will the government stop taking its instructions from nuclear powers like the United States and start recognizing what the Nobel committee and most of the world already know, that nuclear weapons are illegal. When will Canada grow a spine and sign the treaty?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to seeing the world free from nuclear weapons, and global disarmament is certainly our goal.

The UN treaty that was negotiated was done so without the participation of nuclear weapons states, meaning it will not disarm a single nuclear weapon. Our position is the same as our NATO allies such as Germany and Norway.

Remember, in 2016, Canada rallied 159 states to help pass a treaty to see a fissile material cut-off. This is real and concrete work, and I hope the member opposite will support us in that effort.

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the finance minister is looking forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend at some fancy location while he ponders all of the tax savings he is getting with his family fortune being sheltered in Barbados.

I am also certain that my local farmers and local small business owners will not be so relaxed. They are worried sick because of these tax changes, unanswered questions, and uncertainty.

How can the finance minister protect his own family fortune while people are being taxed, people who are creating jobs and are the middle class? Does the finance minister not understand how hypocritical these tax changes are?

TaxationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are being true to a promise we made to the middle class to make our tax system fairer.

Our government consults and listens to Canadians. We listened to farmers from coast to coast to ensure that we get this right. I can assure my colleague that we will always stand behind Canadian farmers. We want to ensure the preservation and integrity of the family farm model. I invite the hon. member to also reassure the farmers in her riding.

We want to ensure that farmers who employ family members can continue to do so. We intend to keep supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and Canadian farmers while improving tax fairness.

TaxationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, our farmers are not reassured. That is because the finance minister has been sitting in his ivory tower for the last two months dismissing and demeaning Canadians' real concerns. How cold hearted the Liberals have become, all because they need more money for their out-of-control spending.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, could the finance minister please give hard-working small businesses and farmers some good news, and tell them they have abandoned this cold-hearted, mean-spirited, hypocritical tax grab.

TaxationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if we want good news for Canadians, for business owners, it is the 400,000 jobs we have created in the last two years. It is the fastest growth in GDP in the last 15 years. That is because we have had a plan from the get-go that is working. We are helping the middle class. We are helping small business owners, and we will keep at it.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

October 6th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's motto seems to be “do as I say, not as I do”.

He is piling tax upon tax on Canadian small businesses, while at the same time stashing the profits from his family fortune in the tax haven of Barbados. He has some nerve.

To quote the Minister of National Revenue, the net is tightening on Morneau Shepell's actions.

Can the Minister of National Revenue confirm whether an investigation has been opened into the Minister of Finance's personal stake in tax havens?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance left the company before he became minister. He has always worked with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to make sure he complies with all the rules.

However, if the member wants to know about the Minister of Finance, I can tell him that I am very proud to work for a finance minister who believes in social elevators and believes in the importance of reducing inequality and defending the middle class, which was ignored for 10 years by Mr. Harper's Conservatives because they were busy giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

I am very proud to work side by side with this minister, who has lowered taxes for nine million Canadians and lifted 300,000 children out of poverty with the Canada child benefit. It makes me proud.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, April and her family own a trucking business within my riding in Alberta. They have four children, who have worked for the company since they could walk. Their older son drives truck full time. Their daughters work in the office, and the youngest helps clean up the trucks. While saving a little money here and there, they have managed to put aside some university savings for the children, but now the Liberals' tax changes are putting this under threat.

How is it fair that Morneau Shepell can use a Barbados company in order to avoid taxes? Meanwhile, the finance minister robs university savings from April's daughters in order to pay for the Liberals' out-of-control spending. How is that fair?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my colleague. We listened to Canadians and we are tabling proposals that will bring greater tax fairness where it is lacking in our system. We want to make sure we are doing things correctly and maintaining a suitable environment for entrepreneurs by keeping our tax rate the lowest in the G7, avoiding unnecessary paperwork to make life easier for our entrepreneurs, and making sure that intergenerational transfers are not impacted by the measures we put forward. We reached out to Canadians, we heard them and we continue to work for greater tax fairness.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Murray and Lorraine, in my riding of Bow River, say they could not afford to both keep the family farm operation and contribute to RRSPs, so they planned to use their farmland as retirement income. They want to know why the Liberals have, as they put it, changed the rules at the end of our game, and jeopardized their retirement plans, while the Finance Minister's family fortune and Barbados operation will not even be touched.

How is that possibly fair to Murray and Lorraine?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the member. We have always mentioned it and said that our intention is for these changes not to be retroactive.

We have listened to Canadians from coast to coast, to farmers and fishers. The guiding principles, as we review the comments we have heard from Canadians, is to make sure that we keep supporting small businesses, keep a low tax rate for small businesses, and make sure that we support the family farm model, which we have always supported, so that intergenerational transfer is not impacted and family members can continue to work on the farm.

We will always stand behind our entrepreneurs. We will always stand behind farmers.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian chambers of commerce and accountants agree: this so-called tax reform is unacceptable and counterproductive for all entrepreneurs. Middle-class jobs will be lost and businesses will be taxed at 73%. Even worse, the Minister of Finance's business, Morneau Shepell, as well as the Prime Minister's family trust will not be affected.

When will the government stop laughing at the middle class and stop squeezing small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our proposals have always focused on greater tax fairness. Our current tax system has some inherent inequities that allow some wealthy Canadians to access benefits that the vast majority of Canadians, whom my colleague and I represent here in the House, do not have access to. This is what we want to address, since we want more tax fairness for the middle class.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Mr. Speaker, from Jack Layton to Jagmeet Singh, New Democrats have always stood firmly against Canada joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence system. It is an extremely expensive system, yet still unreliable, and its continued expansion risks launching a new global nuclear arms race.

On Wednesday, the Conservatives called on the government to change its position and join the American ballistic missile defence system. So far, the Liberals have only said that they are not ruling it out.

Will the Liberals stand with New Democrats today on the side of peace and disarmament, or will they adopt the reckless and dangerous policy of the Conservatives?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Jean Québec

Liberal

Jean Rioux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of Canadians are priorities for the Canadian Armed Forces and our government.

Our new defence policy recognizes that ballistic missile technology poses a growing threat and that we must work more closely with our American allies to address the threats we are all exposed to. As part of the modernization of NORAD, we plan on taking a comprehensive look at the threats and dangers facing North America, in every area.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, with winter approaching, seasonal workers in New Brunswick are feeling anxious because the Liberals abandoned their promise to deal with the spring gap. Workers and their families may find themselves without income for weeks in the very dead of winter. The Liberals are telling them to cross their fingers and hope the unemployment rate goes up so they will be eligible. What a boneheaded approach.

When will the Liberals do the right thing and keep their promise to deal with the spring gap once and for all?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that Canadians get the support when they need it from the EI system. This is why we have put in a series of changes to make access to the benefits much faster. We have also made changes to make sure that the people who are in a gap in employment or are working seasonally can work and receive benefits in an appropriate way, so that they get the benefits and support they need to participate in the economy.

We will continue to work with stakeholders to fine-tune solutions. One of the challenges we have is a good one, with a buoyed economy, with thousands more new jobs, EI premiums are changing, as are benefits. We are working very hard to make sure that seasonal employees are treated properly.

TaxationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hosted a town hall meeting in my riding on Tuesday evening that was attended by over 120 people. Two of the attendees were a senior couple who own 220 acres of land with a cash crop. One of their three sons, who lives here in Ottawa, wants to buy the farm to earn income to subsidize the money he earns as a self-employed filmmaker. I wonder if the Liberals can explain how it is fair that selling their farm to their son would cost them significantly more than if they sold it to a multinational corporation, say like McCain Foods.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, our government knows how important farmers are to our economy. That is why it wants to ensure its measures are appropriate.

I have worked on this file. We listened to farmers and met with industry representatives. I can assure the House that we will take all of their views into account as we develop our plan before moving forward.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontario farmer, Mark Wales, wants to know why, under the new tax rules, it would not make financial sense for a farmer to sell to his own children as opposed to an unrelated third party. These Liberal changes are a direct attack on the family and future generations of farmers like those in my riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. How is that fair when the finance minister's family company in Barbados is left untouched?

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. We have always said it. As we review the comments we have received from Canadians, we want to make sure that intergenerational transfers of businesses or of farms are not impacted.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week, Canadians were dealt two major body blows. First, the Liberals shut the door on further consultations on their cold-hearted, mean-spirited project to bash Canadian jobs and middle-class Canadians. A second body blow was the $15-billion energy east pipeline, with 15,000 middle-class jobs cancelled due to Liberal interference in the environmental review process. Why have the Liberals abandoned middle-class Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member has asked the question, because it gives me a chance to remind him of the economic activity and the jobs that have been created by pipeline approvals over the last two years. More than 22,000 jobs have been created, and many of them, by the way, in the member's own province of British Columbia, and across the southern prairie. It is also important to remember that steel will come from a company that is headquartered in Regina. Therefore, the combination of job creation, economic development, and good jobs for the people of western Canada—