House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the last questioner from the Reform Party wanted ministerial involvement at $15,000. It gets a bit ridiculous.

The member will understand that the direction of funds used in the private sector often through procurement or contracts with government is done with the least possible political interference. That is something I would have thought the Reform Party supported.

Social Program Reform
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. He was confirming what the Auditor General was saying, that Ottawa does not have any management and evaluation tools. In other words, Ottawa is governing in the dark.

In the same line of reasoning, will the Minister of Finance acknowledge that, as the Auditor General was saying, the government is about to reform social programs without the tools to properly evaluate the impacts of that reform?

Social Program Reform
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

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. What I said was that we must absolutely modernize the tools of government.

This is why we asked Ernst & Young for a report, which was handed to us when we came to office. This report is proving very helpful.

I am very surprised that the hon. member does not understand that any modern institution must evolve with new technologies as they develop. I can tell you that, as a government, we intend to use all the technologies available to better manage the country.

Social Program Reform
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, should we infer from this that the government will proceed with its reform of social programs without evaluating its impacts, simply because the only objective of the reform is to cut into social programs to reduce the deficit?

Social Program Reform
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, the goal is clear. The Minister of Human Resources Development stated it repeatedly. The main goal of the reform of social programs is to update them, to deliver the goods in a more efficient way. We must recognize that the world has changed. The Minister of Human Resources Development has recognized it, and I regret that the Bloc Quebecois is still living in the 1960s.

Social Program Reform
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Canada Customs
Oral Question Period

November 28th, 1994 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the national revenue minister has consistently referred to increasing customs enforcement and yet this weekend the Ottawa Sun quoted a Canada Customs official, and I quote: ``If the line is too long we get orders just to wave people through. We don't know how many guns or how much drugs we could be stopping''.

How in the world can the minister reconcile his boast that his department has a 25 per cent increase in enforcement with that statement from a customs officer on the front line?

Canada Customs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me important for the member to compare what might have happened before if he wants to see the impact of a 25 per cent increase in enforcement activities.

I should point out to him also that if we attempted to stop every vehicle and give a complete search, tourism in this country would cease to exist as would trade with the United States.

I should point out to him that we target areas where we feel there is high non-compliance. Therefore, with a number of sophisticated methods of achieving some sort of targeting of high non-compliance areas, we are able to be remarkably effective in the customs work that we do.

Canada Customs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the boasting about the 25 per cent increase, my office contacted his deputy minister's office asking for a substantiation of the revenue minister's claim. That was just on Friday, so to this point we have not yet received a reply.

Surely the minister would not be making unsubstantiated claims. Therefore, could he share with the House where all these extra customs officials are. Would the minister like to share that with the House or are they like Elvis sightings?

Canada Customs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I answered a question from the hon. member but his memory appears to be defective.

I pointed out that we do in fact target different parts of the border at different times of the year, depending on demand and that we do alter the mix of customs officers that we have within a region or across the country. I also pointed out to him that for example at the Commonwealth Games we had 65 extra customs people in Victoria brought in from Yukon, Alberta and other parts of British Columbia. We therefore have a sophisticated system whereby we are able to deploy our resources for the best effect.

With respect to the 25 per cent, I will get him the figures that he has requested. I assure him that we have in fact substantially increased customs activities over the past eight months.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Bill C-57 seems to prohibit tariffs on supplementary agricultural imports. Without proper amendment this could jeopardize our ability to safeguard supply management as we are committed to do.

Is the minister prepared to introduce the necessary amendments to the Import and Export Permits Act and the Customs Tariffs Act to ensure that the very essence of Canada's supply management system is maintained?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the administration of our agricultural imports under the new tariff rate quota regime will include provisions for supplementary imports for various purposes.

The government intends to consult all stakeholders and determine what steps must be taken to ensure the continued viability of both primary production and processing in the sectors concerned. If necessary, changes will be proposed to the customs tariff to deal with this.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

More, more.