House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was program.

Topics

University Hockey
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in Toronto, and for the third consecutive year, Acadia University hockey team participated in the National University Hockey Championship Tournament. For a school of 3,000 students, this is a great accomplishment.

While Acadia, the defending national champions, fell just short against the eventual winners, Lethbridge, I feel the accomplishment of this year's team must be recognized.

Led by the CIAU's player of the year, Duane Dennis, Acadia had an outstanding season; a season marked by dedication, hard work and a commitment to excellence.

I am proud of the young men involved in Acadia's hockey program and their academic achievements. I believe that the members of this team have shown themselves to be responsible, dedicated and hard working on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.

Congratulations to Acadia. It has every reason to be proud of its accomplishments.

Indian Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development announced the devolution of his department's responsibilities to the First Nations of Canada, beginning with a demonstration project in Manitoba.

All I can say is that it is about time. We have heard a lot in this House about the need to define self-government. Self-government will not be defined the same in Yukon as it is in Manitoba because we must define it in terms of the cultural heritage, of the various aboriginal groups that are being dealt with. It must be an item for negotiation.

Each settlement will be defined by the history and culture of the First Nations people. This is an extremely important initiative and because of that I ask the minister to place before the House a plan with clear timetables and, most important, the financial resources to be allotted to this plan of devolution. That will determine whether this initiative is genuine or just another step on the highway of broken promises.

Employment
Oral Question Period

March 14th, 1994 / 2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

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

Several members of the government are attending the G-7 summit on employment held in Detroit today. According to a government source quoted in this morning's newspapers, Canada intends to submit to its G-7 partners a proposal to put in place

a tax credit for employers who create new jobs and for those who save jobs.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that Canada is about to present such a proposal, and can we expect the government to put in place such a tax credit for employers who create new jobs and for those who save jobs that would otherwise be threatened by technological changes?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the Minister of Finance will present in Detroit a proposal on Canadian taxation. I think that the ministers who are there today want to look with their colleagues at solutions that could be applied in the Western world and that many ideas will be debated, but in Detroit, the Minister of Finance will not be making any proposals concerning Canadian taxpayers. All that must be done in the usual way, as we did a few weeks ago when the budget was tabled.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is very disappointing to hear that so many ministers went off to discuss and chat without having anything new to propose.

I ask the Prime Minister what justifies their presence at the G-7 summit if it is not to come up with new ideas.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our ministers will talk about what we are trying to do here in Canada at this time, and I imagine that the other ministers will explain what they are trying to do in their own countries. Unacceptable unemployment levels are now a problem throughout the Western world. That is why President Clinton convened this summit, so that the ministers responsible in this area can meet and exchange ideas. And if this summit produces new ideas that can apply to the Canadian situation, I am sure that our ministers will be happy to take note and report to Parliament.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we hope that the representatives at this summit will do more than compare their respective countries' unemployment rates. All this is not very encouraging.

Can the Prime Minister tell us today if, after the G-7 summit, his government will introduce a real policy, a real job creation strategy to give a little hope finally to the 1.5 million unemployed Canadians and especially to young people, nearly 20 per cent of whom are without jobs?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that was debated in the budget debates over the last few weeks. We explained our plans, including the infrastructure program and the youth program. We want to make sure by changing the nature of our social programs there is more money available for creating jobs.

When meeting with others they discuss our approach and we discuss their approach. That is the reason we meet with them. We try to have good exchanges with the people involved and thus have as much stability as possible in the western world. Everyone agrees it is better when people talk than when they do not.

It was a good initiative by the President of the United States to invite all the ministers involved with labour and employment to get together.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

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

The government keeps saying that its real priority is job creation. Today, a large delegation of Canadian ministers is attending a G-7 conference which we thought would deal with ways to stimulate employment.

In the meantime, the government maintains the unemployment insurance premium increase which it put in effect last January 1, and which is truly a tax on employment. In fact, last week in this House, the Minister of Finance himself said it was absurd.

Does the Prime Minister agree that, if the government wants to be logical when it talks about job creation, it must immediately eliminate this premium increase?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely what the government has done. The previous Conservative administration had decided that UI premiums would go up to $3.30. We passed legislation to lower these premiums to $3.07 for the current year, and to $3 at the beginning of next year. So, we have done precisely that.

Again, the premiums were set at $3.30 by an act of Parliament, but we have lowered them to $3.07 for the current year, and to $3 as of January 1, 1995.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the Prime Minister that he implemented a decision made by the Conservatives to lower UI premiums to $3.07 as of January 1994. He maintained the decision to set premiums at $3.07 until next January, in order to get $800 million from Canadians.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that cancelling this premium increase would have an immediate effect on employment, and does he agree that if this increase is absurd, as the Minister of Finance admitted, maintaining it is a lot more absurd?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we would have preferred to lower premiums to $3 right away, but we have serious budget constraints. Nevertheless, we did reduce premiums from $3.30 down to $3.07 for this year, and to $3 for 1995.

Obviously, we would have preferred to set premiums at $3, but it is not just a matter of pleasing people, we have to do what we can with what we have, and the decision made by the Minister of Finance to lower premiums to $3.07 for the first year and to $3 for the second year was the best one that could be made under the circumstances.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

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

As has been already mentioned, the government is represented at the G-7 meeting in Detroit to discuss worldwide unemployment and underemployment. I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether his ministers are taking any specific proposals for job creation at all to that meeting and particularly whether the private sector's views on job creation have been included and are going to be presented.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly what the Minister of Finance and the other ministers will do.

We said that 85 per cent of the jobs in Canada will be created by small and medium size businesses in the future. That is why we have passed some legislation and made some adjustments that will induce the private sector to create these jobs.

They will explain the technique Canada has decided to use. I hope that others will benefit from our views.

If in the course of the discussions someone were to come up with the miracle solution, of course we would take it, but it is a complicated situation all over the world.

We know Canada has a problem. Some will say perhaps we should reduce or abandon the minimum wage. Canada is not that kind of a country. Canada does not want to have sweatshops in order for people to have jobs. We are a civilized nation that wants to do it the proper way. We have a good regime, but if somebody has a better idea then we are open to it.

I am a Liberal. I am not a doctrinaire person. I borrow from the left and I borrow from the right, as long as the solution is right.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the Prime Minister's answer and we certainly recognize that the Prime Minister borrows.

The Prime Minister made reference and the Minister of Finance is now admitting that a $1 billion spending cut in UI creates more jobs than a $1 billion spending increase on infrastructure. To be consistent therefore will Canada be recommending tax cuts as a job creation strategy at the G-7 meeting?