House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was revenue.

Topics

Petitions
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has made an interesting suggestion. I think it can be best dealt with by having it studied by the House procedure committee on which her party is represented. This would enable the idea to be explored further.

In the meantime opposition parties have opposition days during which they can debate subjects of their own choosing. Certainly it is open to the member's party to use one of its opposition days to discuss the subject matter of one or more petitions.

Petitions
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, surely some of these things are important to the government, not just the opposition ranks.

My supplementary question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Would she allow debate on just one petition pertaining to the credibility of Parliament and public trust in this particular institution, namely the petition that is currently circulating in the riding of Markham-Whitchurch-Stouffville?

Petitions
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has called for this to be a matter of a change in the standing orders. As a first step I think the broad implications of having debates on petitions should be considered in the committee set up by the House for the purpose of considering such changes, and that is the House committee on procedure.

Property Taxes
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board. In December 1992, the previous Conservative government froze the payment of all grants in lieu of taxes on federal lands and buildings, which of course caused a significant shortfall in revenues for municipalities across Canada.

Does the Minister intend to honour the promise made by his Prime Minister during the election campaign so that the federal government meets its obligations regarding payment of grants in lieu of taxes to local governments?

Property Taxes
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am well aware of the concern that many municipal leaders have expressed. Having been one myself formerly I understand the issue involved here.

The matter is under review, as indeed the legislation is with respect to grants in lieu of taxes which comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services. I hope we can have a further response before long for the member.

Property Taxes
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. Should we understand that the Minister is committed, on behalf of his government, to paying this year the full amount of grants in lieu of taxes owed to municipalities,

such as Montreal and Toronto, as any responsible property taxpayer should, thus leading by example?

Property Taxes
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we want to carry out our responsibilities with respect to grants in lieu of taxes right across the country.

We are looking at the matter, as I responded a few moments ago, and will be responding accordingly.

Elections Act
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

On Wednesday the Prime Minister said that he believed the restrictions on free speech contained in the contested gag law are compatible with democracy. He said that there are a lot of people who want to influence the outcome of an election but "do not have the guts to run for Parliament".

Why does the government believe that participation in the political process outside the party structure should be so severely restricted?

Elections Act
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada welcomes participation by every Canadian in the political process. The Government of Canada is concerned about the issue of paid advertising and paid activity which is a direct attempt to influence the electoral process.

In 1976 when the Government of Canada amended the Elections Act to put all political parties on a level playing field, it did so because it recognized that money should not be the tool to influence democracy.

The federal government believes that everybody should be on a level playing field. The level playing field should not simply restrict spending by political parties but there should be an open opportunity for everybody to participate, not to buy their way into influencing the election.

Elections Act
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Deputy Prime Minister. Political parties are not on an even footing and political parties have a financial advantage over private individuals in an election campaign.

Does the minister believe that Canadians should have to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to defend their right to freedom of expression during an election?

Elections Act
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, nobody is denying Canadians the right to free expression during an election.

The fact is that the Canada Elections Act requires that paid advertising by political parties be restricted. Indeed official agents of political parties are subject to fines and even jail terms of up to five years if they do not respect the advertising limitations.

All that the Liberal Party and the Government of Canada are asking is that when it comes to paid advertising the level playing field be preserved so that democracy can be preserved and no single big money private interest can buy its way into influencing the election process.

Armed Forces Bands
Oral Question Period

February 4th, 1994 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. We learned recently that the Department of National Defence spends more than $32 million a year for several military bands within the Canadian Forces. Given the terrible state of Canada's finances, does he consider it acceptable to spend $32 million on the bands of the Canadian Forces?

Armed Forces Bands
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on a number of occasions I have said that in view of the party's commitment, as outlined in the red book, every aspect of our defence budget is under review. I hope when we make our pronouncements on changes in the defence budget, the hon. member and his party will support the government's action.

Armed Forces Bands
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, to help his Minister of Finance who is desperately in need of money, is the minister ready to use the same reasoning in the case of the Canadian Forces bands as he did in the case of the RCMP marching band?

Armed Forces Bands
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I gave the answer earlier.

Is it a question that hon. members opposite are trying to denigrate our cultural heritage as we see it in the Canadian military with music and bands? I always thought that the hon. member's party was one that was very concerned about cultural

matters. Now they are showing they are not interested in Canadian culture. Military bands are very much part of Canada's culture and I hope they will continue to support them.