House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wheat.

Topics

Social Reform
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, of course we are in favour of consultation. It is just that consultation must end sooner or later and then we must act on it.

The social policy review was undertaken because as the minister knows, the status quo is simply unsustainable. Our social programs are too costly, too inefficient and in desperate need of reform.

Knowing that social programs must be better targeted and that Canadians will have to take more personal responsibility to provide for their own retirement, will the minister tell the finance minister to keep his hands off Canadians' private pensions and RRSPs?

Social Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I prefer to answer my own questions if you do not mind. In my experience the hon. Minister of Finance is a gentleman of great discretion and judgment and he knows exactly where he wants to put his hands.

Tax Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Ontario's finance minister proposed giving Ottawa exclusive control of a national sales tax that would replace the GST and all provincial sales taxes. In return, the provinces would receive a greater share of individual income tax revenues.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Does he intend to follow up the Ontario finance minister's proposal and are we to understand that the GST reform he is considering will be based on this suggestion?

Tax Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Before answering, Mr. Speaker, may I say I would like to see the Hansard blues.

The treasurer of the province of Ontario telephoned me yesterday morning, just before question period, to let me know about the suggestion he made yesterday. The details were not provided and I think that our officials are going to meet. We are very open to any suggestion that will help us harmonize the tax. That said, we will certainly have many questions about the suggestion, but I think that any constructive suggestion is worthwhile.

Tax Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Finance think that to really simplify consumer taxes, eliminate duplication and reduce the huge administrative costs, he should instead abolish the GST as promised and transfer this tax field to the provinces in exchange for an equivalent reduction in transfers, as the Bloc Quebecois recommended in its report on the GST to the finance committee in June? The minister wants suggestions-there is one.

Tax Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly consider the suggestion from the Bloc Quebecois with the same open mind as we received the suggestion from the Treasurer of the Province of Ontario. We did so when they presented their report. We discussed with the provinces and we must say that the provinces, including Quebec, are not unanimously in favour of it.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

September 27th, 1994 / 2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a 1992 internal report which examined mismanagement in the Department of National Defence and raised the spectre of abuse and cover up.

The deputy minister's office was renovated at a cost of $327,000. This contract was awarded without tender and concealed under a completely different project in order, and I quote from the report, "to hide the cost of the DM refit which would be considered excessive by the public".

Can the Prime Minister tell the House what action the government has taken to correct this bureaucratic mismanagement within the defence department?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Secretary of State (Veterans)

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of National Defence I will take the question under advisement for the minister.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is not just one of excessive spending; it appears that the department compounded its sins in trying to hide the report by classifying it "protected C".

According to the Treasury Board guidelines "protected C" is reserved for extremely sensitive information which might cause extremely serious injury such as loss of life.

Will the minister agree that this seems to place DND in a position of deliberately trying to conceal information?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, we are skating on a little bit thinner ice, "deliberately conceal". I would ask hon. members to please be very judicious in their choice of words. I will permit the hon. Secretary of State for Veterans to answer the question if he so wishes.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Secretary of State (Veterans)

Mr. Speaker, again in the absence of the minister, I will take it under advisement for the minister of defence.

Fishing Quotas
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister refused to admit in this House yesterday that he had encouraged Gaspesian fishermen to gear up for turbot fishing. Yet, at the very last moment, just hours before they were to cast their nets, the minister refused to authorize the transfer of turbot licences in addition to having slashed their quotas one month earlier.

How can the minister explain his decision to grant a turbot fishing quota to Seafreez, a company located in his riding which hires Russian trawlers, when he refused to grant the same quota to the Gaspesian fishermen, thereby forcing them to live off UI or even welfare?

Fishing Quotas
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member really ought to try to be consistent.

The issue here is cutbacks in quotas and whether or not new entrants would be allowed into the fishery. New entrants whether they were in Newfoundland, Quebec or anywhere else were not allowed into the fishery.

With respect to the allegation made for the second day in a row, and I admire the member's persistence and also his power to take a punch, that allocations to Seafreez increased or that allocations to Russian vessels increased, let me read the numbers.

The allocation in 1993 to Seafreez was 5,000 tonnes. In 1994 it was reduced to 2,200 tonnes. The allocation caught by Russian vessels under charter with Canadian companies, and they were doing this for years in advance of this government coming to power, decreased by 60 per cent last year.

Fishing Quotas
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that quota cutbacks may become necessary for reasons relating to the biological environment. But what we want to know is why the minister gave part of the available quotas to a company located in his riding, a company that used Russian trawlers to fish its quota? That is what we want to know.

Fishing Quotas
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member knows the answer. Not a single pound, not an ounce, not even a sniff of that turbot has been processed in my constituency, not one single job. It is processed in the great historic community of Canso, Nova Scotia, which is in a different province.

When all the members of the fishing constituency in every province in Canada recognize there is a resource crisis, when the world meets in New York and recognizes a fisheries crisis, when NAFO meets in Halifax and recommends a fisheries crisis, surely even the Bloc Quebecois should recognize a fisheries crisis.