House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, to balance the books as the minister says, he will have to reduce federal spending by $24 billion.

There is no indication in the budget of how that is going to be done or when it is going to be done. In my discussions with lenders and investors last week the one question they all had was when and how is the federal government going to eliminate the deficit and not just reduce it.

I ask the Minister of Finance this question. When and how does the Canadian government plan to eliminate the federal deficit? Will he tell Canadians and Parliament what he is being asked to tell Moody's and investors? When and how?

The Economy
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, I have made it very clear that we intend to eliminate the deficit. I have also made it very clear that the best way to do that is to set a series of short term targets, not to allow the decision to be postponed by long term targets.

Surely to heaven the leader of the third party ought to know, having looked at what the Tories did for 10 years, that federal long term targets or targets such as those placed in his own budget based on faulty assumptions and false input, simply will not do the job. We are far more interested in results, not in incredible projections.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the markets are not asking for short term targets. They are asking a simple question. When and how will the minister eliminate the deficit and not just reduce it?

Given the uncertainty in the financial markets, the government should stop being coy and plainly tell the House when and how it plans to eliminate the deficit. If there is not a plan then the minister should tell us and we will help him develop one.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Is there or is there not a government plan and a timetable to eliminate the deficit? If there is will he tell his finance minister to disclose that to the Canadian people and not just to Wall Street?

The Economy
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, the international financial community has made it very clear to us that what it wants is results.

It does not want a whole series of projections. It has had it with projections. What it wants is results and that is what it has received from the government.

I would ask a question of the leader of the third party. When he talks about the uncertainty in international markets he is very sincere. Does he really think that he helps his fellow countrymen and women when he goes outside the country's borders and casts doubt on the quality of the budget or the financial projections?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its report tabled today, the Canadian Human Rights Commission denounces the government's inability to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act so as to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. In its report, the commission calls this is a fundamental abdication of our responsibilities regarding human rights.

Considering that eight Canadian provinces out of ten already prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and that the courts have confirmed that such discrimination was not compatible with the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms, I ask the Prime Minister: why does he refuse to act immediately, since he has made a commitment to Canadians and Quebecers?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the change to the human rights legislation to which the hon. member has referred is only one of many changes this government contemplates to the act, which is now almost 20 years old.

The report of the human rights chief commissioner quite properly pointed out that this is unfinished business. Let me emphasize to the House, as I have done on other occasions, that the government is committed to this change. It is committed to modernizing the statute and improving it. It is a commitment we will fulfil.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister not realize that by keeping quiet and postponing his decision from month to month, he is showing his inability to silence the dissensions within his caucus and he is also indicating to the public that, as far as he is concerned, the respect of human rights and freedoms is far from being a priority?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have made plain that our commitment to the changes in the Canadian Human Rights Act is a matter of government policy. These are questions in which we believe strongly. These are commitments we will fulfil.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government and the Bloc party teamed up to defeat a Reform Party bill that would have alleviated the problems we presently have in the labour front.

When can this government bring forth legislation that will put an end to this sort of thing once and for all for the sake of the producers and farmers in this country?

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, there is currently in Canada a major crisis, and we are aware of if. This crisis has an impact on the economy across the country, and we are taking action. We tabled a bill in this House yesterday.

I want to thank Reform Party members for supporting this legislation, but the fact is that the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP are not helping us.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister, but perhaps she missed the question. The question was: When can Canadians expect to see legislation that will deal with this situation in the long term? The back to work legislation has nothing to do with the long term.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I understood the question very well. What I said is that we have to solve a crisis in the short term. Once that is done, we can look at a long term solution, but we have to take action regarding the current situation.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 1995 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Canadian Heritage proudly announced that the chairman of the National Capital Commission is free to use his leisure time as he pleases, including participating in partisan activities in order to raise funds for the Quebec Liberal Party. The minister said that Mr. Beaudry would of course have made sure that his activities were compatible with his duties.

Are we to understand from the minister's comments that the participation of senior officials in partisan, political activities at the provincial level is considered consistent with the government's ethics rules?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, there is no Canadian statute or regulation preventing public servants from taking an interest in political matters in their leisure time. I think that no one should be more aware of this than the opposition members from the Bloc, who recruited public servants to help them sell the referendum.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for reasons which will become clear, my second question is for the Prime Minister.

What explanation does the Prime Minister give for the fact that his ethics counsellor, the person responsible-responsible indeed-for the transparency of the government and the guardian of its integrity, yesterday refused to answer any questions with respect to Mr. Beaudry?