House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Before Christmas the Governor of the Bank of Canada and I sat down and set out our inflationary targets for the next five years. Those inflationary targets we did in a very short period of time, something that took the previous government two and one-half years to arrive at.

Those inflation targets are among the most disciplined of any of the industrial countries in the western world. They are a 1 to 3 target with mid-point 2. The Governor of the Bank of Canada testifying before the Senate the other day made it very clear that we are going to stay within those targets.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, certainly this boasting that the budget is a great success may impress backbenchers but it has obviously failed impressing those who finance Canada's $500 billion debt, namely taxpayers and investors.

For six weeks now the minister's promise of a strong medicine next year has been undermined by repeated statements by the Prime Minister that all cuts are already on the table.

In light of rising interest rates and the falling dollar, will the minister ask the Prime Minister to remove the handcuffs and

allow him to use the only available solution to the problem, deeper cuts in public spending and a revised fiscal plan?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have heard the Prime Minister repeatedly within this House in response to questions from the other side say exactly what I said in the budget speech. That is that the cuts in our budget in and of themselves are sufficient for us to reach the 3 per cent of GDP target that we have within three years.

The Prime Minister has gone on to say that within the budget reference is made to the review of government operations which is going to be undertaken by the Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal in which we are rethinking the role of government, rethinking the way in which we approach the economy. That is an essential part of our budget and it is an essential part of our ultimate plan to clean up this nation's finances.

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Finance.

At the end of February, Hydro-Québec received the go-ahead from the Quebec government to start construction on the Sainte-Marguerite project, in the Sept-Îles region, where unemployment is very high. At the time of this announcement, Quebec had obtained political assurances from Ottawa that the federal government would support the project. But failing federal permits, the construction of the dam, scheduled to start next week, may have to be postponed.

While he is doing little to create jobs, could the minister at least have the decency not to create difficulties for those who do and will he give us the assurance that the federal government will issue the permits required to allow Hydro-Québec to implement this project which does not interfere with the regular flow of the rivers and will create-

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Put your question!

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

Order! The length of questions is becoming a little excessive. I would ask that questions and answers be shorter.

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

London East
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

When the government announced on February 24 that it had accepted the BAPE report on the Hydro Quebec project it also indicated at that time that there would be certain steps taken before a permit was issued.

As the member should know, the environment must and will be protected. The Department of Transport is working very closely with the province and all other parties to finalize the permit. It has only been a month since the government has accepted the project. It will not be issued until all the pieces are in place.

I can assure the hon. member that yes, we are concerned that jobs are at stake and yes, we want the project to go ahead; but there are conditions to be met before the permit is issued and we are working relentlessly to make that happen.

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a fine example of how cumbersome the federal system is. Will the Minister of Finance give us today the assurance that, by the end of next week, Quebec will have received the necessary authorizations so that work can start in an area where unemployment is running rampant?

Job Creation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. The negotiations that have taken place regarding the Sainte-Marguerite river are an excellent example of federal-provincial co-operation.

Complete agreement was achieved with the province with respect to project description, conduct and content. At present, a permit is to be issued by Transport Canada. Of course, this is a complex and detailed document and there are still a few pieces of information to be supplied by the Quebec government. The province assured us we would be getting this information shortly. It should be a matter of weeks before a permit is issued, given the full co-operation of the provincial government.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

March 25th, 1994 / 11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

According to a poll released yesterday by Peat Marwick Thorne, one in six Canadians now describe themselves as tax anarchists and feel tax cheaters should be applauded. The main reason given for the attitude was out of control government spending.

Will the minister agree a major step toward resolving this problem would be to cut spending and thereby encourage Canadians back into the mainstream economy?

National Revenue
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Essex—Windsor
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government and I want

to acknowledge that the survey makes interesting points that we are taking quite seriously.

However we also want to point out that it is a snapshot. It does show changes in attitude over time. Therefore it would be difficult to draw certain conclusions, for example, that Canadians are either more or less disgruntled than at other times.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

The budget projects an overall growth in the economy to be 10 per cent over the next three years, but it projects 15 per cent growth in government revenue during the same period. These figures seem to imply that Canadians will be coming back into the economy rather than opting out of it or going underground.

In light of the growing underground economy identified by this poll, could the minister explain how the 15 per cent growth in revenue will be achieved?

National Revenue
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Essex—Windsor
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I believe I just stated that this survey does not allow us to draw certain conclusions and that is one. It is a snapshot in time.

The minister has consistently stated in the House that we are continuing to strengthen enforcement in all aspects of revenue collection.

Biovac
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Government Services.

In a surprising decision, the Minister of Supply and Services has terminated the contract under which the federal government buys influenza vaccines from BioVac, a subsidiary of Biochem Pharma and the only Canadian manufacturer of this type of vaccine. Curiously enough, after awarding only a one-year contract to BioVac for this vaccine, the government has now decided to award a new, five-year contract to an American manufacturer.

Why did the government decide to terminate its contract with BioVac and award a five-year contract to Connaught, when BioVac will put on the market within one or two years a revolutionary influenza vaccine costing only ten cents a dose? Is the minister determined at all costs to export Quebec high-tech jobs to the United States?

Biovac
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. The paramount concern in all the deliberations must be and ought to be the health of Canadians, particularly young children.

Since 1973 the Government of Canada, in co-operation with the provinces, has been purchasing vaccines in bulk. No determination has been reached. The information the member has provided to the House is somewhat premature. No decisions have been made with regard to contracts which have been let. I am hopeful a decision will be made soon and I am hopeful we will have a Canadian solution to a Canadian problem.