House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times, this was a personal family vacation. I am happy to answer any questions that the Ethics Commissioner may have for me.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister is answering the Ethics Commissioner's questions, but the Prime Minister also has a constitutional responsibility to be accountable to Canadians in the House, so we are asking him these questions on behalf of Canadians. After all, it was actually the Prime Minister who said, “As the head of government, the Prime Minister represents all Canadians and should be directly accountable to” them. He said it, so does he still believe that, or was that just a campaign slogan?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government works hard to serve Canadians to make sure that we are growing the middle class and supporting those working hard to join it. Of course, we take our responsibilities very seriously and continue to demonstrate the kind of openness and transparency Canadians expect of this government, particularly after 10 years of a government that did not do a good job at that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are now dozens and dozens of serious criminal cases that are being thrown out of court, in part because the Liberals have not appointed judges to deal with them. In one case, a man is accused of breaking his two-week-old baby's ankles, and he has had his criminal charge stayed, and he may never face justice.

The irony is that the person in charge of this in the Prime Minister's Office did one thing before she left; she made sure she had her own appointment as the parachute Liberal candidate.

This does not reflect the priorities of Canadians. When will the Prime Minister get to work and appoint judges so criminals stop going free?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, over the past year we have made significant appointments right across the country, including 13 judicial appointments in Alberta. The fact is, in the over 100 appointments we have made since we have come in, through a new process that demonstrates the openness and the diversity of Canada, we are happy that over 60% of our appointments are women, that 15% of the appointments are visible minorities, that over 10% are actually indigenous Canadians, and that we have Canadians living with disabilities well represented. We are demonstrating the kind of openness, transparency, and diversity that we know is a great strength for Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it really is good to be back. I had assumed that during my absence, the Liberals would finally come clean on the actual cost of their massive new carbon tax. Day after day, I watched the minister give evasive and non-transparent answers to simple questions. Clearly, the minister has something to hide and is afraid to tell us how badly the carbon tax will hurt.

To the Prime Minister, why the cover-up, and when will he finally release the unredacted report outlining the harm this tax will inflict on Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is wonderful to see the member opposite back in the House, but he did not use his downtime to understand what the Conservatives did not understand for 10 years in government, which is that investing in reducing our carbon emissions, in a cleaner economy, is actually a way of creating opportunities for Canadians and opportunities to grow the economy. We know that leading the way on the new economy, on the new clean jobs that are coming, is exactly how we will create the kinds of opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it that Canadians expect.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal environment record is a train wreck. We only have to look at Ontario, where Kathleen Wynne's skyrocketing electricity rates are bankrupting hard-working Canadians. The Prime Minister's reckless carbon tax plan follows the same blueprint. In the words of the irrepressible Rex Murphy, the green dream has been a disaster for Ontario. The last thing Canadians need is even higher energy costs. When will the Liberals finally come clean, release their carbon tax report, and let Canadians judge for themselves?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians did judge for themselves in the 2015 election, when they rejected a vision that did not understand that the way to build a strong economy is to invest in a cleaner environment. Canadians know that reducing carbon pollution and investing in the clean, green jobs of the future is exactly how we are going to grow the economy for the future. Not only did that government not get anything done on the environment, but that also hurt the economic growth of this country. This government gets that. That is why we are moving forward in responsible ways to create better jobs and a cleaner environment for future generations.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister loves to claim that he wants tax fairness, but one of the first decisions the Liberal government made was to flip-flop on a clear promise to close the CEO stock option tax loophole.

Will the Prime Minister and his Liberals vote in favour of the NDP motion and will they “flop-flip” to finally close the CEO stock option tax loophole, take aggressive action to tackle tax havens, renegotiate treaties that currently help tax evaders, and end penalty-free amnesty deals for tax evasion? Will they do that in the budget and, by the way, when is the budget?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the very first thing we did was lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the wealthiest 1%. We got elected on a clear commitment to help the middle class, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are ensuring that nine out of 10 Canadian families do better with the new Canada child benefit, which is going to lift 300,000 kids out of poverty.

These are the kinds of measures we put forward, which are investing both in middle-class families and in their future through historic infrastructure investments. These are the promises we are focused on delivering for Canadians. That is what Canadians expect.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are on stock options.

In the KPMG agreement we saw that there are certain rules for the rich and the friends of the government and other rules for everyone else. Good luck to any owners of a family business who make a mistake on their tax return, because the government will be on their heels. If a millionaire decides not to pay his taxes, there is no problem. The government will protect him.

Can the Prime Minister assure us that his government will never offer this type of deal to white collar criminals again?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should get his facts straight. We are currently involved in legal proceedings against KPMG, in fact. We are taking our responsibility to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance very seriously.

That is why in the last budget we invested an additional $440 million in the Canada Revenue Agency to deal with fraudsters who avoid paying their taxes. Everyone has to pay taxes and that is exactly what we are enforcing.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, again, no action on criminal action and charges.

Canadians want more than lip service. Tax fairness means that nobody is ever above the law no matter who they are or how much they earn.

If the Prime Minister really wants to ensure tax fairness, will he ask the Minister of Justice to lay criminal charges against the people involved in the KPMG scheme, or is it all just talk?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the member should get his facts straight.

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently involved in legal proceedings against KPMG. This government has a responsibility, one we take very seriously, to prosecute fraudsters and people involved in tax evasion and avoidance. That is very important to us, and we are working on it every day. We also invested an additional $440 million in this initiative in the previous budget.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, not one criminal case, and he knows it.

Let me raise another related issue. At a time when the term “fake news” is bandied about, when accusations of media bias risk confidence of the public in a free and independent press, we all have to stand up against interference with the media.

Does the Prime Minister believe that it is right for Revenue Canada to pay for government ads in newspapers and disguise them to look like real news articles? Does the Prime Minister find this acceptable, yes or no?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government uses a broad range of ways to communicate with Canadians. We need to make sure that Canadians know we are working hard for them every day. These are the things that matter. Reaching out through community newspapers and through a broad range of media organizations is an effective way of ensuring Canadians get the facts and understand what their opportunities and options are.

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, many will recall the sad day when this government was elected on the promise of a modest deficit of just $10 billion. The reality is that, a year ago, the Liberals voted in favour of a budget that provided for a deficit three times that amount.

According to the only game plan those folks have to return to a balanced budget, this will not happen until 2055. That is ridiculous. The Minister of Finance will probably present his budget in two weeks, or just after that.

Can the minister assure us that he will not touch the tax credits that go directly to Canadians, and that Canadians will not have to pay higher taxes with the next budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that we will continue with our plan, which is about improving the lives of middle-class Canadians. Our plan will improve economic growth. Our plan will create jobs across the country. That is how we will create more opportunities for people, for our children and grandchildren. That is what our plan is all about.

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are not even born yet will have to foot the bill for this plan and for this government's mismanagement. It was 40 years ago that the Prime Minister's father left public finances in a mess. The same thing is happening today.

With regard to tax credits and income splitting for seniors, can the Minister of Finance tell us that his next budget will not negatively impact seniors?

FinanceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that we will continue with our plan to help seniors and to help the middle class. That is very important. Thanks to higher growth, we will have many more opportunities in the future. That is very important.

Thanks to our investments, we will be in a position to do more for Canadian families across the country. We now know that more jobs were created in the past six months than since 2002. Things are starting to improve.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dianne Lynn Watts Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week a Senate committee released a report on the Liberals' infrastructure plan. It mirrors earlier comments from the parliamentary budget officer.

The committee found that the Liberals had not developed a strategic infrastructure plan and that municipalities had raised several concerns about the lack of transparency and onerous application process. This is the third independent report that raises serious concerns about the Liberals' infrastructure plan.

When will the minister start listening and develop a transparent and accountable plan that actually creates jobs and gets infrastructure built?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, since taking office, we have worked with the provinces, municipalities, and territories and streamlined approvals as part of a phase 1 clean water, waste water, and public transit infrastructure framework design based on feedback from provinces, municipalities, and territories. Municipalities across the country and the FCM have applauded the simplicity of the new programs. We are delivering on the commitments we made to Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Senate committee's report is clear and unequivocal, despite what the minister thinks. The Liberals have not developed a strategic plan. The Liberals have a complex and uncoordinated approach. The complex nature of this approach is disconcerting for municipalities. We did not make this up. It is in the report.

The report states that the Liberals are not being transparent, that the municipalities are having difficulty navigating the programs, and that jobs are not materializing.

Will the minister admit that his plan is just not working? What will he do? Will he continue to shut his eyes and keep repeating the same thing, like a broken record?

InfrastructureOral Questions

March 7th, 2017 / 2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to working in collaboration and partnership with provinces, municipalities, and territories, we take no lesson from the previous government. The former government had no relationship with those organizations.

We are working on delivering on the historic commitment we made: $180 billion over 12 years; 1,400 projects approved, with a combined investment of $14 billion, the majority of that money going to municipalities from coast to coast to coast.