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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we could do even more if the government would finally get tough on tax evasion.

By voting in favour of the NDP motion this week, the government committed to close tax loopholes that benefit wealthy taxpayers. This includes tax loopholes involving stock options, which the Liberals promised to eliminate in the election campaign.

Will the government commit to closing those tax loopholes in the upcoming budget?

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, CRA continues to take important steps in ensuring that we make progress in cracking down on tax cheats and ensuring a tax system that is more responsive and fair for all Canadians. Supported by the investment made in budget 2016, we made a significant investment of $444 million. Because of the investment we made, we now have more people, more technology, and more resources at our disposal. Because of these resources the agency audit activities have put in place to raise assessments of over $13 billion this fiscal year alone. This is what Canadians expect us to do—

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Haldimand—Norfolk.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, Swedish authorities have just arrested a Bombardier employee who has been accused of aggravated bribery. Before handing over taxpayer dollars to Bombardier, I hope that the Liberal government did its homework and checked out all of Bombardier's operations as $375 million is a lot of money and this money does not belong to the Liberals, it belongs to Canadians.

My question is simple: Did the Canadian government have any knowledge of this Swedish investigation when it was giving Bombardier the money, yes or no?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, this investment that we made was for the aerospace sector, a critical sector in the Canadian economy that contributes over $28 billion to our overall growth, that contributes 211,000 jobs to our economy. This investment was critical and that is why when we made this investment we did do our due diligence in advance of entering into an agreement with Bombardier.

I am aware of the situation regarding Bombardier in Sweden. Any questions related to specific activities of the company should be directed to the company, but we did do our due diligence.

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will take that as a yes.

Now the Liberals claimed that they would spend $8 billion on infrastructure, but yesterday, the parliamentary budget officer said that they are short a whopping $2.5 billion in that promised spending. Given that the Minister of Finance enjoys increasing taxes and spending Canadians' hard-earned money, I ask the finance minister, what taxes will he be raising or introducing to vacuum even more money from Canadians to pay for this shortfall?

TaxationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have elected a government that is committed to grow the economy in order to grow the middle class. We are delighted to hear today that 220,000 new jobs have been created in the last six months, most of them full-time. This is the best record in over a decade. We are very proud of that. We look forward to continuing our agenda to grow the economy and the middle class in the next budget.

FinanceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government made a lot of promises that it has not kept. It keeps saying that it has helped nine out of ten families and talks about 300,000 children. Out of a population of 36 million Canadians, that is not a big proportion. Experts all agree that the vast majority of Canadians have less money in their pockets. The Liberals have no vision and they are trying to blind us with flash shots of Mr. Selfie. Spending blindly with nothing to show for it is irresponsible.

When will this Liberal government finally be responsible and table a real budget to protect the future of our children and grandchildren?

FinanceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take this question because not only is the Canada child benefit lifting 300,000 children out of poverty across the country, but also, in my colleague's riding, families of 22,000 children are now getting a $200 tax-free benefit every month, which is more than they were getting under the previous system.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Mr. Speaker, the budget will not be balanced for 38 years. How is that helping our kids? The economic situation in Alberta continues to be critical. Unemployment numbers have been climbing, businesses are crippled by new taxes, and families are struggling. What Albertans need now are good jobs. Instead, the investing of local infrastructure projects by Alberta Municipalities Association says the Alberta NDP is using $300 million of the federal building Canada fund to pay down its skyrocketing debt.

Can the minister guarantee that not one dollar of the Canada building fund has gone to anything but infrastructure projects?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise as part of the Liberal government that believes in Alberta and believes in Albertans. We understand the challenges facing Alberta families and will continue to deliver on our commitments to invest in infrastructure and to support economic growth and improve our communities.

Working with our provincial and municipal partners, we have 127 projects with project costs of $4.2 billion invested in Alberta and I will go into detail. That includes the Yellowhead Highway extension, $230 million. That includes the Southwest Calgary Ring Road, $500 million in federal contribution. I could on for several pages, but I only have about 30 seconds. That includes $30 million federal contribution for the Calgary Green Line and Edmonton's LRT plans.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, in their 2016 deficit budget, the Liberals promised to transfer uncommitted infrastructure funds from the previous Conservative government to municipalities through the gas tax transfer fund. When they took office in November 2015, there was $837 million left to distribute to municipalities across the country. On budget day just four months later, there was just $31 million left in the pot. One problem: no municipality has a record of the money coming to their municipality, so if no one has a record of the money, where did the money go?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, part of the reason we are delivering for Canadians and their families is the fact that we want to get $180 billion of infrastructure into the economy and to stimulate the economy.

With regard to the gas tax fund, I think there is a bit of confusion. Surely the member opposite is not suggesting that we take money and reallocate it for projects that we have already promised to deliver. Unlike the other government, we do our diligence and we announce projects when they are approved at our level. The gas tax fund does get reallocated, but not in the sums that the hon. member is suggesting. We have fulfilled that promise to transfer over to the gas tax funds the appropriate amounts allocated.

TaxationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, thousands of volunteer firefighters across Canada, individually, give hundreds of hours each year, risking their lives in the contribution to community safety. Roughly 80% of Alberta's firefighters are volunteers and a full 97% of fire departments are volunteer-operated. That is over 450 in our province alone. That is why the Conservative government instituted a volunteer firefighter tax credit.

My question is for the finance minister, or his parliamentary secretary. Will the finance minister guarantee that this tax credit will not be cancelled in the upcoming budget?

TaxationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government has made a commitment to middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join it. The first item that we did when we formed government was to lower taxes for middle-class Canadians. We put in place the very generous Canada child benefit program for middle-class families. Also, we continue to go forward in helping families and children because we want all Canadians to prosper.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, tax evasion and patronage scandals continue to seriously undermine the credibility of an important institution in our country. Our officials are leaving the Canada Revenue Agency to go to accounting firms that are not shy about evading taxes, firms such as KPMG, which developed a scheme with the Isle of Man. The scheme sought to help KPMG's clients avoid paying taxes in Canada. It is as simple as that.

My question is simple: is the minister committed to tightening the post-employment rules to prevent situations like this, situations that erode public trust?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the CRA's current post-employment policy instrument is among the most stringent in Canada. Any specific disclosure of taxpayer information by either an employee or former employee is prohibited by law.

Let me be very clear. This prohibition has no time limit. An employee or former employee of CRA who violates these provisions could face sanctions, including fines or imprisonment.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the upcoming budget must address the tragic shortfalls in funding for mental health services. The Sask Party wants to believe everything is fine, but people in my riding face great challenges when it comes to accessing the appropriate mental health services. The federal government cannot continue to ignore the shortfall in our northern communities. People in my riding cannot afford to wait.

When will the Liberals commit to a comprehensive long-term strategy that provides adequate mental health care to northerners?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her continued advocacy on behalf of her constituents and, indeed, all people in her province as it relates to the very real needs for mental health. She knows that we have invested in the area of mental wellness for first nations and Inuit across the country in the order of an additional $70 million that was announced earlier this year.

In addition, we reached a deal with Saskatchewan, one of now nine provinces and three territories with which we have reached an agreement on mental health funding. In Saskatchewan's case, it was $150 million that will go to support expanding access to very real mental health needs in that province.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, no government in recent history has taken so long to fill watchdog vacancies as these Liberals. This should not come as a surprise as the Prime Minister is under investigation for multiple ethical transgressions. Between countless judicial vacancies and unfilled watchdog positions, the Liberals have once again proved to Canadians that they are only willing to green-light Liberal insiders and former chiefs of staff. Just yesterday, they appointed a Liberal donor to the superior court of P.E.I. The Liberals have proven once again the only families they are interested in looking after are their own.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand in this House to remind Canadians and to remind members that it is this government that introduced a new merit-based process that is open and transparent. Every position is available online. I encourage Canadians to apply.

We have taken diversity, bilingualism, and gender parity into consideration when making these important decisions. We will continue to deliver for Canadians.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, what do the Liberals do when a Chinese insurance company with a secret ownership structure dominated by a who's who of the Chinese Communist Party applies to buy essential seniors care facilities in Canada? They turn over the keys to one of the largest health care providers in the province of British Columbia.

Nobody will do business with Anbang Insurance because of its questionable ownership, not even Wall Street firms. How can we trust it to look after our seniors in the most vulnerable times of their lives?

When will the Liberals finally act in the interest of Canadian seniors and put this sale on hold?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, our number one priority is the economy, and we realize we need to be open to trade, open to people, and open to investment. That is why we looked at this transaction and asked if it is in our overall net economic benefit, and yes it is.

We did our due diligence. We made sure that the employment levels will remain high. We will make sure that Retirement Concepts has the additional resources it needs to expand. We did our job. It is good for British Columbia, good for the economy, and good for seniors.

Air TransportationOral Questions

March 10th, 2017 / 11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that the Minister of Transport himself thinks that selling off our airports is good for travellers. If he has listened to any of the advice he has been receiving over the past year, he will have heard that this is a bad idea. However, as he has stated, the Minister of Finance will make that decision, and we now know he needs the billions of dollars that the sale of the airports to international investors will provide to hide the failure of Liberal budgeting. Just how desperate is the minister to hide his mess?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes that a strong, integrated, and modern transportation system is fundamental to Canada's continuing economic performance and competitiveness. We will also support greater choice, better service, lower costs, and new rights for middle-class Canadian travellers.

We are working hard to improve the transportation system to better serve Canadians.