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." "We do not agree with their interpretation. We are going to take it to court," he said. Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP Leader Jack Layton said the Tories should not lay claims to any of the surplus. "After he gave a huge tax cut to his rich friends with no plan that would bring net benefit to Canadian families, he's suddenly become Santa Claus," Duceppe told a hastily organized news conference. "This surplus was created by Canadians, not the Conservative party," Layton said. The Tories proposed the motion after the Commons finance committee produced a report calling for a $3-billion payout, with the money split between personal income tax reductions and debt repayment. The finance committee's report suggested a cut of $200 to $250 per person. Revenu Quebec said the Tories' interpretation of the surplus would cost the province and its citizens $2.3 billion, money the province says it needs because it won't be able to balance its own budget. "We hope Mr. Harper will reconsider," said Finance Minister Monique Jerome-Forget. "The Prime Minister needs to understand that the surplus was created by a collective effort by Canadians." Harper said he wasn't surprised the provinces weren't thrilled with the motion. "We don't expect the provinces to like this. We don't expect the separatist parties to like this, because they don't want Canadian federal politics to be successful," he said.
Feb. 24, 2023, 10:09 a.m.
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