February 9, 2011

CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. The Liberal Party leader is proposing a $6 billion tax hike in order to pay for his election promises that the country cannot afford. We do not have to raise taxes on employers in this country. Our economy is creating jobs for Canadian families thanks to our low tax plan. We will continue to secure Canada's recovery.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Hon. Michael Ignatieff (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have tax breaks for the richest corporations. We have tax hikes for small business. We have no break for the ordinary middle-class family. Family care is too expensive. The government is spending 40% more over the last five years and has no credible plan to get this deficit under control.

The whole story just does not add up. When will the Prime Minister listen to Canadians and reverse these reckless economic choices?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the story that does not add up is the plan of the Liberal Party leader to raise taxes on employers, to raise billions of dollars of taxes on Canadian consumers, and to use that to increase spending even further. None of that makes sense.

Our spending has been targeted at creating jobs. It is succeeding. We do not need $6 billion more in tax hikes from the Liberal Party.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Scott Brison

Liberal

Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the CFIB has said that cutting corporate taxes is not a priority for small business. Instead, small businesses want payroll taxes to be held where they are or cut, and they want help to hire more Canadians.

On January 1, the Conservatives ignored small business and hiked the EI tax rate by 5%. Why are the Conservatives punishing small businesses with job-killing payroll tax hikes in order to cut taxes for the richest corporations?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately for the hon. member, he has raised an issue of fact. The fact is that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the small- and medium-sized businesses of this country, is absolutely opposed to the tax hikes proposed by the Liberal Party that would raise taxes on over 100,000 Canadian small businesses, absolutely opposed. He can check with Catherine Swift if he is not sure about it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Scott Brison

Liberal

Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is misleading Canadians once again. CFIB's Vice-President Corinne Pohlmann has said publicly, “corporate tax cuts are not in our top 11 [priorities]”.

More than 80% of CFIB members will not benefit from the Prime Minister's corporate tax cuts. Instead, small businesses want lower payroll taxes and they need help with training.

Why are the Conservatives giving away $6 billion to Canada's biggest, most profitable corporations while killing jobs and punishing small businesses with an $8 billion tax hike?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, everybody here can do exactly what I did. He can talk to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and its president, Catherine Swift, who is absolutely on the record saying it is opposed to the tax hikes proposed by the Liberal Party on business, absolutely opposed.

There is not a single business organization, not a single credible voice in this country, that supports the tax hikes proposed by the Liberal Party.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has admitted that the decision to authorize the shipping of radioactive waste on the St. Lawrence River was based on information provided by Bruce Power, the company involved in the project. So much for rigour and objectivity.

The Government of Quebec, the Bloc Québécois, the Parti Québécois, mayors and environmentalists are all opposed to shipping radioactive waste on the St. Lawrence River. How can the Conservative government go against this Quebec consensus?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, public hearings and an additional round of written submissions took place throughout the fall, and the Government of Quebec did not signal any concerns at that time.

I spoke to my colleague, Minister Arcand, this morning and I offered to have the commission give briefings to all the appropriate officials. I extend the same offer to members of the House of Commons. Perhaps they will finally understand the facts and stop manipulating perceptions, as the leader of the Bloc Québécois has done for too long.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, according to the Conservative government and this ineffable minister, all those opposed to shipping waste by water are waging a campaign of fear. The Bloc Québécois is waging a campaign of fear, the Government of Quebec is waging a campaign of fear, international experts are waging a campaign of fear, even American senators are waging a campaign of fear.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the only person who is comfortable with the idea of shipping radioactive waste on the St. Lawrence River is his minister? And that is not a comforting thought.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, for the Bloc Québécois, this is another issue they can use to divide the people. The Bloc does not care a fig about the integrity of a scientific institution, of a quasi-judicial body like the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Paragraph 48—I see that he has not read the decision—states that the exterior surface of the steam generators has a lower surface dose of radiation than a package of medical isotopes. Such packages are delivered in hospitals every day. Such deliveries are common.

I repeat that his so-called consensus does not exist. We deal with the Government of Quebec, and I will be happy to have the commission brief Quebec government officials so that they can thoroughly evaluate the decision.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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BQ

Paule Brunelle

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is trying to sound reassuring and is downplaying the risk of transporting nuclear waste on the St. Lawrence River by telling us that we are trying to instill fear in members of the public. But what the minister is not saying is that these generators, which are the size of 16 buses, would exceed by up to 50 times the international limits for the transport of radioactive waste.

How can the minister be so out of touch and maintain that this is not an issue?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, we have to look at the facts. Once again, I urge the hon. member to, first, read and, second, understand the report. Then, if she would like, she can attend a briefing session, which the commission will offer to all members of the House of Commons.

Once again, we are concerned that members' false perceptions of the facts will cause public panic. This is irresponsible of them.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources needs to remove his rose-coloured glasses and take into consideration the fact that the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes are the biggest storehouse of fresh water on the planet, that this is a highly urbanized area, and that those living there do not want to have to pay the price of a possible environmental disaster and Ontario's energy choices.

Does the minister realize that due diligence requires him to listen to the public, municipal mayors and the Government of Quebec, who do not want the St. Lawrence to be used for the shipment of radioactive waste?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I urge the environment critic to simply put on his glasses and read the report. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, a quasi-judicial body made up of scientists, based its decision on scientific evidence. Those are the facts. I have asked commission representatives to give a technical briefing to those who are interested, including members of the opposition. I hope that they will attend.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Shipping Radioactive Waste
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the proposed TSX merger and takeover has Canadians worried. Canadian companies need access to foreign capital, but not at the expense of our own capital markets.

Will the Prime Minister take steps to ensure that this is a merger of equals and not a takeover, that there is access for smaller firms and that regional interests are respected? After having so badly mismanaged securities regulation, will he ensure continued Canadian oversight by Canadian authorities of our stock markets?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how the leader of the NDP can blame the federal government for securities regulation since right now it is regulated by the provinces, which is something we are trying to change.

The fact is this is a complex transaction. There is a law in place, the Investment Canada Act, that will look at these matters. The provinces themselves also have some approval processes. Until those things are done, I will not comment on this transaction.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we cannot trust the guarantees given by the financial community about this transaction. The TMX CEO said that he came to build the Toronto Stock Exchange, and now he is selling it.

Let us look at what happened in Montreal when the stock market merged with Toronto. The merger did not produce the expected results and the derivatives did not compensate Montreal for the financial exodus to Toronto.

Why would it be different with London?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, this is a complex transaction. There is a legal process in place, pursuant to the Investment Canada Act. The provinces are currently responsible for regulating these issues. They also have their own processes. It is not appropriate for the government to make a comment at this time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we are being told that we should trust the Minister of Industry on this, but we have seen that he cannot be trusted when it comes to making the right decisions on foreign investments. The Conservatives cannot tell the difference between beneficial investments and damaging takeovers. We are talking about a takeover, not a merger, despite the spin.

Will the Prime Minister commit to public hearings, to full transparency, so finally Canadians could have some role in making this decision themselves, not just leaving it to the Minister of Industry?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Securities
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February 9, 2011