House of Commons Hansard #245 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-58.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see such a brilliant young man still parroting the same lines, because the facts contradict what he just said.

A report published just two months ago by the Department of Finance confirmed that the wealthiest Canadians have been paying $1 billion less in taxes since the Liberals came to power. The Liberals are saying the exact opposite. These are facts. The other fact is that a huge block of Morneau Shepell shares was sold one week earlier.

Can the parliamentary secretary finally tell Canadians the truth? Were those shares sold by the Minister of Finance, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the minister and I have both said this before in the House: he sold shares in November and December 2015.

I want to thank my opposition colleague for his compliments. I am trying to see the link he is attempting to establish. Is he suggesting that the measure we announced on December 7 to raise individual income taxes in Canada affected the price of gas or share prices on the New York Stock Exchange? I am trying to understand the link he is making, but it is not easy.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, no matter how hard the Liberal spin doctors spin, the finance minister's ethical problems are not going away. There is just too much Canadians know, but still so much they do not know.

They know the minister did not put his assets in a blind trust and he was found guilty for hiding assets in France. What Canadians do not know is what else he was hiding in his other numbered companies where he was managing other assets, all for his own benefit. Canadians do not trust him.

How can the finance minister continue in this role?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has always been fully transparent with the Ethics Commissioner. He has worked with her from the very beginning, and will continue to do so. He announced he would go even further.

What I can see clearly is that opposition members are trying to hide the finance minister's record, where we have created close to 600,000 jobs in the last two years. We have the fastest growth in the G7. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in a decade. That is what they are trying to hide with a smear campaign against the finance minister.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the integrity of Canada's CFO must be beyond reproach. However, the minister's ethical lapse has compromised his ability to keep the confidence of Canadians.

He has been found guilty of breaching a law and he is under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner for introducing legislation from which he could benefit. Now the commissioner is looking into his November 2015 sale of Morneau Shepell shares. On top of all of this, we do not know what else is lurking in the shadow of the finance minister.

Why will the finance minister not do the right thing and just step aside?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner represents the institution that protects the integrity of Parliament. The Minister of Finance is working with her and has done so from the start to make sure that he is in full compliance with the rules that guide and govern us.

With regard to the finance minister's record, I can say that everyone on this side of the House is very proud to have a finance minister who helped Canada become the fastest-growing economy in the G7, created a huge number of jobs in Canada, and created an economic climate that allows our entrepreneurs to prosper, all while reducing inequalities. The opposition never managed to do that.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a crass act of demagoguery, the Minister of Finance targeted and scapegoated our small business people, accusing them of being a “privileged few” who used “fancy accounting schemes” to avoid paying their fair share, yet it was he who set up a company in Barbados, it was he who put his Toronto holdings in an Alberta numbered company, even thought he lives in Ontario, and it was he who realized his capital gains before his own tax increases came into effect to avoid paying them himself.

Why has he worked so hard to minimize his tax—

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member opposite knows a lot about demagoguery, so I will not put that in the answer.

I am very proud that the finance minister has lowered the small business tax and will be lowering it to 9% in the next two years. The finance minister has worked very hard in the last two years to create a climate that is prosperous for entrepreneurs. We have the fastest growth in the G7, and 600,000 jobs have been created. That is a record we can all be proud of.

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister's record is working hard to minimize his own tax bill while maximizing everyone else's.

Small businesses face massive changes in how they can pay their family members. Those changes come into effect in less than four weeks, yet the minister, because he is so up to his eyeballs managing his own personal financial scandals, has been wreaking havoc on the finances of those businesses. When will he come clean and tell them what their new rules will be?

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are reviewing the submissions we have received from Canadians. We have consulted from coast to coast, and the new proposals will be announced very shortly. We have always said that we want to make sure that we avoid unintended consequences. We stand behind the family business model, and a family member who legitimately works in a family business will be able to continue to be remunerated for it. We are behind small businesses. We are behind family businesses. We always will be.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Cheryl Hardcastle NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a leaked CRA memo that shows that eligibility for a disability tax credit has indeed changed for type 1 diabetes, spiking benefit rejections to 70% in 2017. Advocacy groups are saying that either the CRA lied to them or the minister has the wrong information. Remarkably, the minister continues to deny that changes have occurred.

No more talking points. Will someone over there show some integrity, stand up, admit the mistake, and correct it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure all Canadians who receive the disability tax credit that the eligibility criteria have not changed. That being said, I am always willing to listen to the concerns of Canadians from all walks of life, and that is why, on November 23, I announced the reinstatement of the disability advisory committee. If changes need to be made to the agency's way of doing things, we will discuss them with the experts who sit on this committee. We will make those changes in a way that is fair to all recipients of the disability tax credit, regardless of their disability.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, “[t]his is to inform you of updates to the current LST procedures and verses relating to adults with diabetes.” That was in an email sent to all employees of the CRA's disability program. Talk about a lack of respect on the part of the Minister of Revenue, who continues to tell everyone that nothing has changed.

Will the minister first remedy the situation and, more importantly, apologize to the vulnerable diabetics who have been refused access to the program even though they had always been approved previously?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

As a social worker and as Minister of National Revenue, I have always worked on behalf of the most vulnerable people. For that reason, we have taken steps to make these credits more accessible, including shortening the application form and allowing specialized nurse practitioners to fill out their patients' forms. Anyone who wishes to dispute the agency's decisions can do so by providing new medical information and requesting a review or appeal of a decision.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker:

Well you don't have it so bad. Everyone in Canada has a sob story.

Can the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities clarify what he meant by these words, which he recently used while meeting with a group of thalidomide patients?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre Alberta

Liberal

Kent Hehr LiberalMinister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Speaker, my heart goes out to thalidomide survivors. I know our government, led by the Minister of Health, is taking their concerns very seriously. I will continue to advocate on behalf of all Canadians with disabilities.

As someone with a disability myself, it was certainly not my intention to offend anyone. While some of my comments were misconstrued, as soon as I learned that my comments were felt to be offensive, I immediately called the organization directly and apologized.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker:

So you probably have about 10 years left then now. That's good news for the Canadian government.

Can the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities please clarify what he meant when he said these words?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre Alberta

Liberal

Kent Hehr LiberalMinister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Speaker, again, my heart goes out to thalidomide survivors. I know our government, led by the Minister of Health, is taking these concerns very seriously. I will continue to advocate on behalf of all Canadians with disabilities.

As someone with a disability myself, it was certainly not my intention to offend anyone. While some of my comments were misconstrued, as soon as I learned that my comments were felt to be offensive, I immediately called the organization directly and apologized.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the Prime Minister gave the Minister of National Revenue a specific mandate: to find money to pay for the Liberals' out-of-control deficits.

Now that she has admitted that she made up the $25-billion figure, Canadians are worried. In the real world, the minister has been mandated to act as a pickpocket for the finance minister. The Minister of National Revenue has already gone after agricultural producers, farmers, diabetics, and retail workers. Who will be her next victims?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government pledged that the Canada Revenue Agency would administer measures for persons with disabilities in a fair, transparent, and accessible way.

On November 23, I proudly announced the reinstatement of the disability advisory committee, which the former Conservative government disbanded in 2006. By reinstating the committee, the agency will benefit from its advice on how to enhance the quality and accessibility of the services it provides to persons with disabilities across Canada.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

December 5th, 2017 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has been targeting small businesses and people with disabilities while patting itself on the back for supposedly recovering $25 billion from cheaters, including from offshore shelters. We now know that the government's $25-billion claim is false, that it will never collect the money, and that it does not even know how much of that is from offshore evaders.

When will the Liberals quit targeting disabled people, quit targeting the vulnerable, quit raising taxes, and stop misleading Canadians?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is fully committed to fighting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

The Canada Revenue Agency has a very effective recovery process, which was strengthened by our government's historic investments of close to $1 billion in the agency. We are on track to recoup $25 billion as a result of audits conducted over the past two years, something that a former Conservative finance minister, Mr. Blackburn, said was not even a priority for the Conservative government.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, for those with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, Christmas can be a very stressful time. To add to this stress, the B.C. court ruled that governments do not owe veterans a sacred obligation, and the minister appears to agree.

As we know, it was a legal fight that began under the Conservatives and continued with the Liberals, in spite of their election promise to restore pensions. Will the minister show veterans some respect and compassion and announce his new pension option scheme before the House rises?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in this House, as I did yesterday after the decision was rendered, we will be announcing our pension-for-life option before this House rises. The decision rendered yesterday was a difficult one for those who put it forward in the courts. We understand that. We also appreciate their advocacy. We appreciate that they put the case forward on behalf of many veterans.

We stand by our commitment to offer a pension-for-life option by the end of this calendar year.