House of Commons Hansard #265 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, my colleague should try to be consistent. He cannot criticize us for running a deficit and at the same time ask us to invest more to help veterans.

We have invested more than $10 billion to support our veterans. We made solemn promises during the election campaign. We respect our veterans, unlike my colleague's party when it was in government. We will never stop doing more to support the brave women and men who serve in our armed forces.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, veterans are calling on this government to listen to them. Our veterans put their lives on the line for their country, and the least we can do is recognize their dedication and support them when they come back home, and yet successive governments, Conservative and Liberal, have been fighting veterans in court. The government is saying that they are asking for more than the government can give.

What happened to the Prime Minister who promised to do right by our veterans and give them the support they deserve? How can the Prime Minister and the government justify breaking this promise to our vets?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, I think we were very clear in the election campaign, but more importantly, since we formed the government over two and a half years ago, that we respect the sacred obligation that Canada has toward our veterans.

Not only did we commit to a pension for life, which is something that my colleague, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, has delivered for the brave men and women who served in our Canadian Armed Forces, but we also committed to reopening offices closed by the previous government. We committed to increasing support for mental health services. We will never stop doing more to support the brave men and women who served in our armed forces.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, then the government should stop fighting them in court.

Many other countries know exactly how much money they are losing as a result of tax evasion and tax avoidance, but here in Canada, that is definitely not the case. The parliamentary budget officer has to fight with the Canada Revenue Agency and the Liberal government to get the documents needed to do this simple calculation. He has to threaten the CRA with legal action for it to do the slightest little thing. That is simply unacceptable.

In the House on Monday, the Prime Minister said that an agreement had been reached to finally provide the parliamentary budget officer with the necessary documents.

If that is the case, why will the Prime Minister not give those documents to parliamentarians in the House?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of International Development and La Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, we promised Canadians that we would look into the tax gap, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Unlike our predecessors, we have opted for an evidence-based approach. The Canada Revenue Agency will provide the parliamentary budget officer with the documents requested, while respecting Canadians' privacy.

The CRA has published three studies since June 2016, and it held a conference on tax gap estimation here in Ottawa last summer.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say they want to combat tax evasion, but the agreements signed with Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda clearly do the opposite.

To be clear, provisions in both agreements allow the active business income from a Canadian company's foreign affiliate to be paid to the Canadian parent company in the form of dividends that are exempt from Canadian taxes.

It could not be any clearer. It is written in black and white in the agreements.

How can the government and the minister defend such bad agreements?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of International Development and La Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear, tax cheats can no longer hide.

We are working closely with our international partners because this is a global problem for which there is no simple solution. We have fully adopted the global standard for the automatic exchange of information with OECD partners.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is the Liberals have signed the worst tax haven treaties ever, and they should not be proud of that at all.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into the cannabis industry from some of the world's most notorious tax havens. Liberals say that is okay. The Guardian newspaper reports that Canada is known as the land of snow washing where bad money goes to be laundered, all because of the strange inaction of the government.

Why is the government refusing to crack down on tax havens? Is it because there are so many Liberal insiders involved? Why are they so irresponsible?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of International Development and La Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, our government is firmly committed to combatting tax evasion. That is why we invested nearly $1 billion in the past two budgets. The Canada Revenue Agency is now able to assess the risk of all large multinational corporations and every year, it reviews every transaction over $10,000 in four offshore jurisdictions.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

February 15th, 2018 / 2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, on August 24, 2015, the Prime Minister made this pledge to veterans, “If I earn the right to serve this country as your prime minister, no veteran will be forced to fight their own government for the support and compensation that they have earned.” That is when he was trying to get elected. Now that he is in power, he is fighting our veterans in court, because they are asking for too much, but all they ever wanted was for him to keep his promise.

Will the Prime Minister do the honourable thing, and apologize for breaking his promise to veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to the well-being of veterans and their families. Our Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans deserve to know they will be supported should they become ill or injured.

Veterans were disillusioned by 10 years of neglect under the previous government, and that is why our government invested over $10 billion to increase compensation for pain and suffering, to increase income replacement for veterans on vocational or social rehabilitation, and for those veterans who cannot return to work. We have restored access to critical services, reopened nine offices, and hired 460 staff.

We are focused on their mental health and creating education opportunities. They deserve better than—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, is it possible to respect individuals and mislead them at the same time?

On April 20, 2016, the Prime Minister said, “I put forward a mandate letter to our Minister of Veterans Affairs that asked him to respect the sacred obligation we have as a country toward those who serve.” Yesterday, the Prime Minister stood in this House, and voted against respecting this sacred obligation. He and every Liberal member of this House should be completely ashamed of themselves.

Why should veterans believe any promise that this Prime Minister makes?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, committing to the well-being of veterans and their families, we have delivered on a promise for a pension for life option, a plan designed to help veterans live a full productive life post-service. The new pension for life option is a monthly payment for life. It is to recognize pain and suffering. It is tax-free, and provides replacement income of 90% of a veteran's pre-release salary indexed annually for life for those who need it.

The Conservatives had 10 years to make changes that veterans were asking for, and they did nothing but close offices, ignore veterans, and leave money on the table.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 9, 2014, in a solemn and firm tone of voice, the member for Papineau said that “we have a sacred obligation to our veterans”. At the time, the member for Papineau claimed that as prime minister he would be the ultimate champion of our veterans' honour and rights.

Why then is he today shamefully reneging on his promise made in 2015?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise once again to speak about what we are doing for veterans and their families. Here are a few examples. A retired aviator with five years of service who is 50% disabled would receive more than $170,000 in compensation for pain and suffering over her lifetime. She would also have access to all veterans affairs offices, including the nine re-opened by our government, the new office in Surrey, and outreach services to the north. We listened and we took action.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is what veterans have to say. Don Sorochan, lead counsel for Equitas Society, said that the government's position was astonishing and for the Prime Minister to stand up and say that we do not have any special obligation to veterans was completely contrary to everything he has said in Parliament and everything that he said during the election campaign.

What is worse, the Prime Minister and veteran Liberal candidates made a solemn promise in 2015, with their hands on their hearts, that veterans would never, ever have to go to court to defend their rights. Those were nothing more than empty words.

When will the Liberals make good on their promises?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to pay tribute to the service and sacrifices of veterans and their families. We are constantly working to give veterans and their families the care and support they need, when and where they need it, as well as to encourage Canadians to remember those who served. We continue to listen to veterans and work with them, their family members, and stakeholders across the country. In budget 2016, our government invested over $5.7 billion to restore access to essential services and provide better compensation for veterans.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the parliamentary secretary cares. I know she has family members who serve, so I would ask her to put down the talking notes, stop talking about hypothetical veterans, and make this pledge to the House. There are real veterans that the Prime Minister is forcing to go to the Supreme Court of Canada because of his broken promises.

Will the parliamentary secretary commit to the House to end the Equitas lawsuit?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his service to our country. I talk to veterans every day, and I am committed to those veterans. Those veterans call me all the time, and they are frustrated, because why? That previous government brought them to court in 2012. We are committed to serving those who served in the forces, and I have the great pleasure of discussing that with them directly.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Durham will come to order. I know he wants to hear the exchanges. We need to have quiet, so we can hear both sides of the exchanges.

The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was actually that party that restarted the Equitas lawsuit. There was $10.5 million for Omar Khadr, billions for pet projects, billions outside of Canada, including $500 million to China to build infrastructure in that region.

It is amazing at how much light speed money flies out the Liberal door for other countries, but when our veterans ask for what they are promised, the Prime Minister says they are asking for more than we can give them.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to veterans for that comment?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have some numbers too: $10 billion that went to veterans, 10 offices reopened that were previously closed by that government. We have made commitments to the Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families. We have delivered on them. In two short years, we have made great progress, but there is so much more to do.

As I said earlier today in the House, I asked all parties to come together for our common cause to support our brave men and women in uniform who wore that flag on their shoulders.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learn that the TPP text is still not ready, and the side letters will not be made public until the agreement is signed. The Liberals promised to be transparent on trade, but they continue to be silent on exactly how the TPP will affect our industries and workers.

Shockingly, we also learned that the Liberals' progressive trade agenda is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. This deal has no indigenous chapter, no gender chapter, and no improvements to the labour chapters.

For all their talk, what exactly do the Liberals think is progressive about the TPP?