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

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

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

The minister declared on Friday that the federal government, despite the large cuts in transfer payments to the provinces, holds all of the strings needed to ensure that the five great principles, the untouchables of the Canada Health Act, will be respected.

Must we gather from the minister's statements that the national forum on health will unilaterally review the Canada Health Act and identify the changes to be made, without giving the provinces, who are responsible for administering the health system and who will have to absorb these budget cuts, the right to negotiate anything?

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have said this many times, and so has the Prime Minister: the principles enshrined in the Canada Health Act are not negotiable. The national forum on health is studying the future of the health care system and of the health of Canadians.

The forum will make some recommendations, which we might accept, and the provinces will be given the chance to review the same issues. Both parties want to help each other, because we both know that we have one of the best health care systems in the world and we want to keep it that way.

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Prime Minister, because I am no closer to understanding than I was before that answer.

Does the Prime Minister, who is also the chairman of the forum on health, have any explanation for the fact that the provinces are not participating in the forum other than that he intends to impose national standards on them which they will never have had the opportunity to negotiate?

National Forum On Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if I recall correctly, we discussed this issue when the forum was announced, and we determined that we were not interested in having the provinces participate. Later on, we invited each one to have a representative on the forum. They all declined.

We offered them a spot but they refused to take part. It is a forum; there are no conditions, and all are free to express themselves. Canadians know that I listen a lot. So every time I go there, I listen. It would have been my pleasure to listen to the provinces, but they denied me this pleasure.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, environmental extremist Paul Watson who allegedly was attacked by concerned residents in the Magdalen Islands was widely reported as saying he held off his alleged assailants by using a stun gun and his fists.

Considering that his fists were probably not lethal weapons, my question is for the justice minister. Stun guns are prohibited weapons under section 90(1) of the Criminal Code. Mr. Watson admits to having the prohibited weapon in his possession. Would the minister confirm if the gun was confiscated and if Mr. Watson was charged with having an illegal gun in his possession? If he was not charged, why not?

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I admire the hon. member's familiarity with the firearms legislation and I commend him for it.

I also remind him that the enforcement of such provisions is entirely a matter for provincial authorities to which I invite his attention.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of enforcement, my question is for the revenue minister.

In his view is the anti-smuggling initiative working when a publicity seeking, U.S. based environmental extremist admits to having an illegally smuggled, prohibited weapon in his possession when he clears customs and the weapon remains in his possession one week later?

Could he explain to law-abiding Canadians who will be required to register guns what the use of registration is if this environmentalist can walk around with absolute impugnity?

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Essex—Windsor
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, customs officials do their utmost at the border to ensure that all the laws are kept. They will continue to do so in the future.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 1995 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

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

If the Liberal government goes ahead with its planned legislation, wealthy Canadians will be compensated for estate taxes paid in the U.S. under a new agreement signed in August. The agreement is retroactive to 1988 and will cost Canadian taxpayers over $2 billion in compensation, by giving families with estates worth over $600,000 in the U.S. a foreign tax credit in Canada.

Does the minister have the courage to say no to this outrageous legislation, or does the Liberal government plan to create a new $2 billion tax loophole for the wealthy?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, primarily because of some of the noise and static around the member I had a little difficulty understanding. However I understand the question referred to the tax protocol that was signed with the United States. The member is nodding.

We have made sure that Canadians are not subject to double taxation. Yes, Americans are not subject to double taxation as well arising out of the same piece of legislation.

The member will understand that it is very important for the Government of Canada to protect Canadian citizens. I am sure he will understand, when he talks about the large amounts of money involved which he says we should be saving, that the amount is roughly what the railway strike will cost us if we do not deal with it. One might ask the member why he is not prepared to support the government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the same minister.

This has become more and more curious. The Mulroney Conservative government supported this tax break for the wealthy. The Liberal government opposite supports this tax break for the wealthy. It is a $2 billion tax break for very wealthy Canadians who have estates in the U.S.

Will the minister give Canadian taxpayers a break and cancel this deal of a lifetime for wealthy Canadians?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 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 a result of this piece of legislation we are now able to tax Canadian snowbirds who have gone south and we are able to prevent double taxation.

As the hon. member knows, in the last budget and in the one before we probably closed more loopholes than any Canadian government has done since the Prime Minister was finance minister.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

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

Much of the recovery in the economy has been driven by export markets. Durham and Oshawa have benefited since automobile production is a big feature in the area.

When can other small and medium size businesses, their employees and consumers generally see some relief?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:55 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 once again confirms his reputation for articulate economic comment. He is absolutely right when he points out that the recovery has been largely export oriented and to that extent has been one legged.

I must say we are beginning to see the signs of increasing consumer confidence. The statistics this week from Statistics Canada demonstrate that consumer confidence is up sharply. Retail sales were up again in January for the fifth time in six months.

We are beginning to see that because of the tremendous productivity and hard work of Canadians confidence is once again back into our economy after the long desert of the last recession.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Finance. It has been reported that after meeting with Calgary mayor Al Duerr last Friday he has agreed to review his government's decision to end the private utility tax rebate.

Is he reviewing the decision and when might the House expect the results of the review?