House of Commons Hansard #203 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Democratic ReformOral Questions

September 21st, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has stated that he feels he should not be bound by the same ethical standards he demands of others in the House. He may have forgotten that his own party's changes to the Lobbying Act actually make him a designated public officeholder. This might explain the confusion about the Leader of the Opposition hosting secret fundraisers.

Could the Minister of Democratic Institutions tell the House what she is doing to pull the curtain on these types of fundraisers?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a right to know about fundraising events attended by party leaders and leadership candidates, as well as the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers. Our legislation will make public the information related to who is going to fundraisers, where and when they are happening, and the amount required to attend.

We hope the opposition will support this bill in committee so that no opposition party can ever again have their leader hold secret fundraisers. Together let us all raise the bar—

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, Marina owns a family farm and ranch in the 100 Mile House area, which just went through the worst B.C. wildfires in its history. She was already on the hook for an increase from the carbon tax and small business payroll taxes. Last week, she got a letter from her accountant telling her about the changes that the Finance Minister is proposing to investment income. She has been through a really difficult time this summer and feels like she has been kicked when she was already down.

Why is the Finance Minister going to make Marina pay 73% while he continues to shelter the family fortune of the Prime Minister and himself? Why is that fair?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we want to make sure that we deal with tax advantages that allow the wealthy to incorporate to get a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. We also have been really clear that we want to retain the low tax rate for small and medium-sized businesses, which is an important incentive for them to invest and grow our economy. That will continue to be important going forward.

We know that business owners, like the one mentioned, and business owners across this country will find themselves in a continuing situation where our strong economy will help them to invest to keep our economy going over the long term.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, Quintin, a young farmer in my riding wrote:

As I sit here in my combine working tonight I had to stop to email you to voice my concern with these proposals as well. I am hoping to take over this farm from my parents in the next couple of years but know that these proposed changes will only add to an already heavily risky venture and create even less margin for error.

Under these changes, if his parents sell to him they will pay far more tax than if they sell to a stranger.

Why is the Finance Minister ripping apart Quintin's dream while protecting the family income of the Prime Minister and his own family fortune? How in the world is that fair?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, farmers, small business people, and all Canadians have a stake in a fair tax system. We all want to know that we do not create incentives so that wealthy Canadians incorporate to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. For farmers across the country, we know that their business is quite important to them and to Canadians. We are going to listen to them to make sure that we get these changes right. We want to ensure that our system does not create injustices, and allows them to be successful and all Canadians to have opportunities in the future.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, Susan Yakabowich, one of my constituents, recently started up a small business that will help seniors remain in their communities after they retire. She started this new business after she got laid off from her 30-year career. She did not see that as a loss. She saw it as an opportunity to start a small business, put her skills to use, and improve her community. However, thanks to this new Liberal tax attack on small business, Susan is questioning her decision.

Why has the Finance Minister designed a system that forces Susan to pay up to 73% tax while the family fortunes of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister will be sheltered? How fair is that?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to deal with a system that creates incentives for wealthy people to incorporate to pay a lower rate of tax than middle-class Canadians. We want to make sure that misinformation is not spread to people who want to start businesses. That is why we are going to repeat over and over again our continuing goal of keeping taxes low on small and medium-sized enterprises. We have been clear that we are not going to change that. What we are going to do is to make sure that they continue to have the opportunity to invest, because that is so important for them and our economy.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I heard from Harvey who researched the impact of the Liberal tax hikes on his small business of five employees in Barrie—Innisfil. In part, this is what he told me:

This is not a good thing. The Liberals are going to ruin us, all of us, including my employees and their families.

Why has the Finance Minister designed a system by which Harvey will pay 73% tax while the family fortune of the Prime Minister and the family business of the Finance Minister will not be touched? Tell Harvey how that is fair.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for Harvey and all Canadians, what we want them to know is that a system that encourages the wealthy to incorporate and have a lower tax rate so they pay less in taxes than the middle class is not a fair system.

We know that for Harvey, the lower tax rate that he can pay as a small business owner is really important. We know that we are not proposing to change that. We know that when Harvey takes money out of his business, we are not proposing to change that.

These are really important things for him to understand. It is very important for our economy, important for Harvey, and important for all Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals changed the OAS and GIS programs for seniors last January, they promised that “These provisions are not intended to place couples in a worse financial situation.”

However, in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, the spirit of the policy is not being respected. In one case a couple is being forced to file for voluntary separation after 60 years of marriage in order to receive the monthly benefit they need for assisted living care homes. This is clearly wrong.

Will the minister ensure that the policy changes are not hurting seniors and they get the respect and benefits they deserve?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am working hard to ensure that the agency offers quality service to Canadians and that taxpayers get their benefits as quickly as possible. We know that benefits are important to those who receive them, and we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that all Canadians receive the benefits they are entitled to. The agency continues to work in co-operation with Service Canada to reduce the chances of a potential interruption in GIS payments.

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's response is unacceptable. The Liberals promised that seniors who are separated through no fault of their own would not be punished and would not have their retirement benefits clawed back. That is not what is happening.

The minister says that her department updated its policies to include a clarification that ended years of compassion and common sense. What she calls a clarification, I call pushing seniors into poverty.

When will the minister reverse this shameful situation?

PensionsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government increased investments in awareness and in the community volunteer income tax program so that Canadians, especially low-income Canadians, can get the support they need to file their tax returns. Most benefits, including the guaranteed income supplement, are based on income. Service Canada uses the information provided in individuals' tax returns to calculate how much they are entitled to.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector is a world leader. Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it. It is the biggest private sector investor in the Canadian economy, but it has had the biggest two-year decline in 70 years.

Energy east will bring western oil to eastern refineries. It will add export markets to secure Canada's energy future. However, it is at risk. The Liberals froze it, killed the panel, struck another with new rules, and it has been three years. It is Liberal chaos and Liberal delays. Workers and their families need answers. Canada needs energy east.

When will the Liberals finally champion this crucial nation-building project?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we very much believe in a competitive and sustainable energy sector and that good projects must go ahead with the full confidence of Canadians.

That is why we have approved pipelines and energy infrastructure projects that create tens of thousands of jobs, while at the same time protecting our oceans, pricing carbon pollution, addressing greenhouse gas emissions, and working in partnership with indigenous peoples.

TransCanada's request is a business decision. The proponent develops its project application in a business environment where factors like the price of oil do change. We are committed to ensuring that economic prosperity and environmental protection go hand in hand.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I know that you and your 30 colleagues from Atlantic Canada know that our country imports over a million barrels of oil a day. Why? It is because there is no pipeline to the east coast.

However, there is a solution to this problem, as my colleague just mentioned. I will ask the parliamentary secretary to clarify the fact that the rules have not changed, but that the Liberals, not the price of oil, changed the rules on this application.

When is the Prime Minister or the Minister of Environment or Minister of Natural Resources going to come to their senses and preserve the Alberta advantage that the Minister of Finance's trust fund now enjoys by being registered—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government stands firmly behind the energy sector as a source of good middle-class jobs and we recognize the importance of competitiveness to this industry. The request by TransCanada for a 30-day pause in the assessment of the energy east project is ultimately a business decision. Canadians know that building a strong economy and protecting the environment are not competing interests; they are shared priorities. We are restoring public trust in our regulatory processes and environment assessments, recognizing that this confidence is key to ensuring that good projects go ahead with the confidence of Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals seem ready to go to any lengths to prevent energy east from moving forward. We have just learned that the assessment process has had to be suspended for 30 days. This government is throwing open the doors to petroleum importers like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but is constantly creating obstacles for Canadian companies that would like to create jobs in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

Why does the Prime Minister persist in making decisions that are costing good jobs all across the country and that prevent the wealth of the west from flowing to the east?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a couple of times, our government stands strongly behind the energy sector in moving resources to market in a sustainable way. Under this government, we have approved a number of pipeline and infrastructure projects, but we have done so in a manner that will be environmentally sustainable. This government has achieved far more in two years than the previous government achieved in 12.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, mental health is an issue that affects all Canadians. People like Noah Irvine, a mental health advocate who tragically lost both of his parents to mental health illness, are fighting to improve access to services. In my own riding of Oakville I know that more can be done.

Can the Minister of Health update the House on what the government is doing to improve mental health services and outcomes for Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the wonderful work that Noah Irvine has done in this area, and I was honoured to meet with him today.

All members of the House recognize the devastating impact that suicide has on their families, their friends, and their community. Last November, our government launched a federal framework on suicide prevention and announced investments to link distress lines across the country into one national suicide prevention line, and through budget 2017, we are also investing $5 billion to increase access to mental health services.