House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 100,000 short term jobs means one day or one week for some workers. Yet every Canadian family is paying $800 for this program.

How does the minister justify those few jobs at such a high cost to our taxpayers?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that many of these jobs are going to be longer term than the member's job.

When it came to the projects in his riding of Simcoe Centre, which included an arena and a library, the hon. member not once protested any of them. The member was sent memorandums asking to respond if he had any disagreement. He responded to absolutely none. He supports all the projects in his area.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. For the past year, in his efforts to cut spending, the minister has targeted unemployment insurance benefits and transfer payments to the provinces for social assistance, post-secondary education and health. The federal share of these social programs amounts to $32.6 billion.

Why is the Minister of Finance making cuts in these social programs which represent $32.6 billion when it could instead reduce its operating expenditures, business subsidies and further reduce the defence budget which all together amount to $34.5 billion?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. The member is very precise, but unfortunately inaccurate.

In the last budget, we cut government operating expenditures, we cut business subsidies, but we did not cut transfer payments to the provinces. We gave notice to the provinces that in 1996-97 we were going to freeze transfer payments at the 1993-94 level. I must say that the provinces were really thankful to be given ample warning.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance seems to be saying that the provinces were really happy to learn that there were going to be cuts.

After one year in power, does the Minister of Finance recognize that he has reached a dead-end with respect to the election promise to do away with the GST, since several provinces are refusing to go along with his proposal to create a 12 per cent national sales tax which is nothing more than the GST in disguise?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, indeed, the provinces were very happy to be treated with some decency for the first time in more than ten years and to be given ample warning, contrary to the previous government which just made cuts without any warning.

I must add that we have been having extremely productive discussions with the provinces on the GST and that we will continue to do so, since, unlike the Bloc Quebecois, we want this country to work.

Firearms
Oral Question Period

October 25th, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Justice.

Port Perry, my home town, was the sight of a gruesome bank robbery this last Thursday. Three police officers and two civilians were shot.

Port Perry and Durham want to know if the minister is going to require mandatory sentencing for the possession of illegal firearms.

Firearms
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member will know, there are already sections in the code that create offences in relation to illegal firearms, some of which provide for extended maximum sentences. The member will also know that the whole firearms policy has been under review by this government intensively in recent weeks.

I will be introducing proposals in the coming weeks before the House of Commons that will deal among other things with illegal firearms entering Canada and the sanctions in the criminal justice system for those persons who use firearms in the commission of crimes.

Committees Of The House
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister about a promise that he has not kept.

In the red ink book on page 92 it states that committees will be given greater influence over government expenditures and individual members of Parliament will be involved in an effective prebudget consultation process.

Since the minister is a co-author of this red ink book, will the finance minister keep his promise and allow committee chairs to request that officials-

Committees Of The House
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The question itself and the way it is being phrased now, the government is not responsible for committees. Perhaps the member could rephrase his question.

Committees Of The House
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Would the Minister of Finance agree to allow members, if requested by motion of the opposition parties or by motion of the party opposite of the government, to have department officials appear at a committee to review-

Committees Of The House
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I think I will pass this until tomorrow.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The minister claims that the Government of Quebec does not understand the federal proposal for manpower training. Indeed, it is the minister himself who does not want to understand and who refuses to accept the Quebec consensus expressed at the employment forum which brought together all stakeholders from the business, educational and labour communities in 1989.

Does the minister not realize that what he is offering Quebec perpetrates confusion between the federal and provincial governments and in no way reflects the general consensus in Quebec? Does the minister realize that he is the one who does not understand Quebec?

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, last week, as you know, my colleague signed an agreement with the Mohawk band to have them become partners in setting priorities for human resource development. It was not a question of transferring funds but helping them to set priorities. The Quebec minister responded by saying: "Why can Quebec not have the same thing?"

I want to point out that we have already offered the province of Quebec much more in terms of responsibility for managing human resource programs than we have offered to all the other provinces. We said to all the provinces that we would invite them to take planning responsibility for close to 60 per cent of federal manpower expenditures, that we would transfer the full responsibility for deciding on training programs under the CEGEPs and community colleges, that we would ask the provinces to take the responsibility of setting up a single window, guichet unique, and we would also look at sitting down with provinces and talking about transferring certain federal pro-

grams as they relate to education, such as stay in school programs and other areas.

In other words, the offer that we made to the province of Quebec, as we made to all the provinces, goes way beyond the proposals that have been made to the particular Indian bands across the country.

I hope now that we have clarified that matter we will get a positive, co-operative response from the Government of Quebec.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is confusing this with his evaluation of the administrative agreements which he proposed to 10 native Indian groups. According to former minister André Bourbeau's estimate, his stubborn refusal to transfer federal responsibilities will waste more than $750 million in the next three years and maintain the present confusion which penalizes Quebec's unemployed. Is he aware of that?