House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

French Language Media
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sleazy tactics of the separatist element in the Quebec media have been exposed.

Mme Ginette Johnson, chair of the French language section of the Kingston, Frontenac-Lennox and Addington County Roman Catholic Separate School Board, was contacted by media outlets concerning the French language secondary school in Kingston. She indicated to the media: "I told them I felt this was not a language issue. After that they were not interested in talking to me".

There are separatists in the French language media in our country who have aligned themselves with the Bloc Quebecois in an effort to poison relations between Canada's two largest linguistic groups.

Mrs. Johnson also let the office of the Leader of the Opposition know her position when she was called earlier this week.

The situation in Kingston is clearly a controversy over planning between the city council and the school board. It is not a dispute about language rights but the right to establish a French school in our community.

The attempts by some elements of the media to suggest otherwise are dishonest. The use of this material by the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues is deceitful.

Criminal Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 16, 1994 someone said: "An effective criminal justice system, one that holds people accountable for harmful conduct, simply cannot be sustained under conditions where there are boundless excuses for violent behaviour and no moral authority for the state to punish. If people know that they are not going to be held accountable because of myriad excuses, how will our society be able to influence behaviour and provide incentives to follow the law? How can we teach future generations right from wrong if the idea of criminal responsibility is riddled with exceptions and our governing institutions and courts lack the moral self-confidence? A society that does not hold someone accountable for harmful behaviour can be viewed as condoning-or even worse, endorsing-such conduct".

These words were not spoken by a Reformer but by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Would the Minister of Justice please take note.

Scout And Guide Parade
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a riddle for you. What city has the longest annual parade in North America, if not the world? Mr. Speaker, your share of my minute is up. The answer is Hamilton in my riding.

Last Saturday it hosted its 56th annual scout and guide parade: 9,500 children and leaders took part, 230 guiding groups, 220 scouting groups, cubs, scouts, brownies, sparks and beavers. It took two and a half hours to pass the reviewing stand, a colourful procession of boys and girls as far as the eye could see.

This event, unique to Hamilton, was inspirational. I wish all my fellow MPs could have been there to witness it with me. It would serve to remind us all that our duty to Canada is to its future, to its children.

Scout And Guide Parade
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I might tell the hon. member I knew the answer.

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

June 1st, 1994 / 2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister. Criticized by the provinces that refuse to be excluded from the National Forum on Health considering that they are the ones primarily responsible for health-care organization, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that the National Forum on Health would be postponed. This postponement, which comes on the heels of the delay in social program reform, was explained by the fact the Prime Minister wished to examine the situation of the provinces.

As chairman of the National Forum on Health, will the Prime Minister commit to seeking the direct participation of the provinces, as equal partners of the federal government, as requested by Quebec and New Brunswick among others?

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a national forum in which we want stakeholders to participate in order to determine what exactly the long term goals are for the people of Canada in the area of health. We are presently consulting with the provinces, but we do not want this forum to turn into a federal-provincial squabble. There is a health ministers' meeting scheduled, to deal with day-to-day

problems. We do want the provinces to participate, but above all, we want all other stakeholders who want to make their views known to participate in the forum. This conference must not be confused with the meeting of federal and provincial health ministers, who get together on a regular basis.

Five provinces made recommendations in anticipation of their participation. The Minister of Health said she had approved some of these proposals. The provinces then submitted more proposals, which we are currently examining. But the fact remains that this process cannot replace the health ministers' meeting.

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the federal government is refusing to clearly authorize the formal and direct participation of the provinces in the forum to avoid having to debate publicly with them the consequences of its decision to withdraw from free, accessible and universal health care?

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker, because there is a clear and unequivocal commitment on the part of this government to free and universal health care across the country. More and more -and even the provinces recognize this- Canadians want this health system which is the envy of the Americans and others to be maintained.

We spend 9 per cent of our gross national product on health care, as compared to 14 per cent in the United States. We want to make sure that the objectives of this system, which has been working well but has developed a number of problems like any other system after a few years of operation, are maintained in the interest of all Canadians.

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the leader of the government try to make himself look good by imposing national standards on the provinces, while his government is reducing its contribution to health care, which puts the provinces in an impossible situation?

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we did not reduce our funding at all. No cuts in transfers to the provinces were made in the Minister of Health's budget.

The position which we put forward during the election campaign and the Minister of Finance adopted in his budget is that we are going to maintain transfer payments at the level they were when we came to power.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned this morning that the Liberal government is thinking not of eliminating the GST as it promised but of replacing it with another GST that would be even more complex than the first one, an odious, hidden tax that goes directly against the provinces' fiscal autonomy.

My question is for the Minister of Finance: Does he confirm his government's intention to implement a GST that would be even worse than the first one and that could apply to currently tax-free products such as food, health care and medicine, which amounts to a systematic attack against the sick and the poorest?

Goods And Services Tax
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, the hon. member is on the finance committee which is drafting the report. We eagerly await this report, as I have always said.

I have no intention of commenting or anything until I have had a chance to read it.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I refer to an article in this morning's newspaper and I ask the Minister of Finance whether he intends to promote a systematic attack against the provinces' fiscal autonomy, as well as a hidden tax that would be easier for his government to increase in a deceitful, odious and hypocritical way at consumers' expense.

Goods And Services Tax
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, I have no intention of commenting on newspaper articles, but we will certainly comment after reading the official report of the finance committee. If the finance critic is the author or the source of the article in La Presse , he should be the one commenting.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

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

Earlier this week the Prime Minister acknowledged that increasing uncertainty caused by the debate over Quebec sovereignty was hurting the Canadian economy. At the same time the study released by the C. D. Howe Institute points to growing uncertainty about the government's ability to hit its deficit targets, which also hurts the economy.

The C. D. Howe study says the government would have to make further spending reductions of $7.2 billion just to restore confidence in its current deficit projections.

Does the minister accept the C. D. Howe study analysis and is he actively searching for an additional $7.2 billion in spending cuts?