House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was process.

Topics

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:10 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Last week, the Minister of Finance took part in the G-7 jobs summit, where he proposed a tax credit for companies that create jobs or that maintain jobs in spite of technological change. Furthermore, the G-7 countries agreed to make employment their priority in 1994.

Now that he is back from the summit, does the minister intend to implement a real job recovery strategy based on concrete measures in order to give back some hope to the million and a half people who are now unemployed in Canada?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:10 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yes, when we were in Detroit, the issue of a tax credit for hiring workers was raised. A suggestion was made by Mr. Reich, the U.S. Secretary of Labour. It was also a suggestion made in Canada at hearings held by the human resources minister. We are prepared to consider this suggestion along with many others.

But one thing is very clear, and I was delighted to see that the measures we took in our budget-that is, our approach to job creation, lower payroll taxes, unemployment insurance reform-are exactly the same as those recommended by the OECD. That is also the conclusion that was reached at the meeting. We must say that even the G-7 supported us.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if these words are not followed by concrete action, we can only conclude that it was hot air. When the minister boasts that his own proposals were supported, if no action follows, I do not see how he can talk about support.

Mr. Speaker, I think that we must ask him today to tell us clearly if he intends to establish this kind of tax credit for companies that create or maintain jobs. Can we expect a ministerial statement on this and not just hot air?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in the budget, we took what is perhaps the most important step, namely the lowering of payroll taxes. Not only was the unemployment insurance premium rate reduced to $3 but we also showed that we intend to continue in the same direction when the minister's reform is completed.

At the same time, we said that we will really look at our whole taxation system to see if there are obstacles to job creation or, better yet, to see what could be done to encourage employment. We clearly intend to do that. It is not hot air but very specific action.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he admits that his budget is going the wrong way on employment by attacking the unemployed rather than unemployment and its structural causes. I would ask him to admit that he will not stimulate employment by reducing 85 per cent of the benefits for unemployed people.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we clearly stated that this government's priority was job creation. We adapted our budget policies accordingly. In the past few months, we have already seen the situation improve. It will take some time, but I am convinced that the finance minister's budget has put the country on the right track for job creation.

Publishing Industry
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 1994 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. In the Ginn Publishing affair, today's Toronto Star , quoting sources in the Prime Minister's Office, made surprising revelations on the heritage minister's behaviour.

In particular, we learned that the minister did not see fit, before authorizing the deal, to read the legal advice on which he bases his own authorization.

How does the minister explain the thoughtless and irresponsible way he acted in authorizing this bad deal without first reading the legal advice in question?

Publishing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I see that the favourite soap opera of the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata is also watched by her colleagues. But soap operas are works of fiction and not fact.

I gave the facts to this House. I said that I had read and studied the recommendations made by the Department of Justice and I think that the decision that was made was explained and understood; the hon. member only has to read Hansard to know where we stand.

I hasten to say that the alternative would have been to use taxpayers' money to finance questionable legal proceedings. I prefer to see this money support the publishing industry I deeply care about.

Publishing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister also admit that, after reading the legal advice prepared for the previous Conservative government in 1990, he realized this advice was far from definite regarding the government's obligation to honour the so-called verbal promise it is now invoking? And would he agree to table the legal advice on which he is now trying to base his position?

Publishing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to see that the hon. member has started to read English-language newspapers. They do not necessarily cover all that goes on in the minister's office. After reading and studying the advice, I came to the conclusions I stated on several occasions in this House. I think I cannot tell him much more than the truth.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister who again today reiterated his government's first priority is job creation. It is becoming increasingly clear to Canadians that the government does not have any coherent strategy for the creation of sustainable jobs.

Past experience proves that government financed projects usually fail on two accounts. First, they do not create sustainable jobs and, second, they rob millions of tax dollars that could be used to prepare workers wishing to enter the new economy or could be used to assist the most vulnerable members of our society.

When will the Prime Minister abandon his contradictory approach to job creation to increase spending on one hand and decrease spending on the other? When will he commit his government to reduce overall public spending so that taxes can be cut and the private sector can create real jobs for 1.6 million Canadians?

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as was indicated in the earlier question, I have just returned from a meeting of the G-7 on jobs in Detroit and over the weekend a meeting of APEC, the fastest growing segment of the world's economy at the present time, dealing with many of the same issues.

It was fascinating. The measures those fast growing countries are taking are exactly the ones that we outlined in our budget.

What are they? They are a reduction of the cancer killing taxes on jobs such as unemployment insurance premiums. They are an encouragement to small and medium sized business, the major creator of jobs not only in this country but in all other countries. They are an encouragement of the newer technologies, networks for small businesses, access to new technologies, matching grants between universities and the private sector.

We have set out a very clear jobs plan and that jobs plan is going to make this a much stronger country for Canadians.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the minister recognizes some of these cancers but one cancer he did not mention was funding for regional development.

Last week Hyundai announced that its assembly plant in Bromont, Quebec, would remain closed indefinitely. This is a perfect example of a regional development project gone bad.

Does the minister agree that the most effective and efficient way his government can create jobs is to stop influencing business decisions with short term public subsidies and instead encourage the private sector to get Canada back to work by getting public sector spending under control?

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that getting public sector spending under control is a very important objec-

tive of any government. It certainly is of this government and our budget demonstrates that.

In terms of subsidies to business, we undertook in the budget a very large reduction in subsidies to business that we deem to be counter-productive. It is in the budget. We have also said that we are continuing to look at the wide range of other ways in which government and business interact to make sure that there are no obstacles placed in the way of business.

On the one issue that the member raised, all members in the House and certainly the members opposite feel very badly and are very disappointed by the decision of Hyundai to delay the reopening of its plant.

The minister of human resources has already begun discussions with the laid-off workers at that plant to see what can be done. We as a government have begun discussions with Hyundai to see if there are other alternatives for the plant.

When I was in a meeting with the APEC members, I had the opportunity to discuss that subject with the Minister of Finance of Korea. We are going to continue to watch it very closely.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the point we are trying to get across is that a little cutting of regional development grants is not the answer. We need to scrap the whole concept because it is not working.

Let me illustrate with another example. This is out west and not in Quebec. A perfect example is the almost $4 million loaned to Myrias Research Corporation by Western Diversification to an Edmonton group in 1990. The final loan of more than $500,000 was made just two weeks before the company went into receivership, creating no jobs. Has the minister learned from the past administration that regional development is a huge waste of tax dollars and will he take steps to eliminate all federal regional development spending from our unbalanced budget?