House of Commons Hansard #198 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was internet.

Topics

Ontario Election
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, certain things always seem to go together: warm weather and barbecues, summer cottagers and Muskoka, an election in Ontario and a Liberal plan that works for the voters.

Municipalities across Ontario have benefited tremendously by our federal job creation initiatives, and specifically by the Canada-Ontario infrastructure program. When Lyn McLeod is premier of this province, Ontarians stand to benefit even more. Lyn McLeod and her Liberal team are committed to job creation and will work in partnership with the federal government to achieve the objectives of the infrastructure program.

The infrastructure program has been a resounding success. More than 14,000 jobs will be created in this province. All projects previously approved under the program will proceed fully funded and on schedule. That is the mark of good leadership, the mark that Lyn McLeod will bring to this province on June 8.

Veterans
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, celebrations were recently held all across Canada and in parts of Europe honouring the thousands of veterans who fought in the second world war.

In my constituency I was privileged to take part in ceremonies held in Markham and Stouffville commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of the second world war. It was indeed an honour to meet with these veterans and talk about their many memories of the battles that were fought.

During these conversations an extremely disturbing problem was brought to my attention by a group of veterans. They informed me that the Sunnybrook Medical Centre Veterans' Wing, located in Toronto, has recently raised the monthly in-residence rent by 35 per cent. This is having a major impact on some 300 veterans who reside in this clinic. I was extremely saddened by this news. These veterans gave the ultimate gift to our country and now they seem to be left to fend for themselves.

I urge the government to immediately intervene in the matter. These veterans simply cannot afford such a dramatic increase in their cost of living expenses.

Presence In Gallery
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, before we begin question period, I would like to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of Dr. Alfred Sant, Leader of the Official Opposition of Malta.

Presence In Gallery
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

May 10th, 1995 / 2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in his budget speech, the Quebec Minister of Finance brought home the negative impact of the massive cuts to the federal transfer payments used to fund social programs, which were announced in February's budget. While hastening its financial withdrawal, Ottawa intends to maintain its national standards, indeed impose new ones.

The Quebec Minister of Finance said yesterday, and I quote: "By the end of the decade, the federal government will no longer be making any transfer payments to Quebec for social programs. In fact, Quebec will be making payments to the federal government".

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Would the minister confirm the conclusion reached by his Quebec counterpart to the effect that the massive cuts made in his most recent budget to transfer payments to the provinces to fund social programs will mean a shortfall of $650 million next year for Quebec and of $1.9 billion in 1997-98, if the federal government continues its practice of allocation on a per capita basis, as he himself has said?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:15 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 have discussed this repeatedly. The shortfall next year will be $350 million. As regards the following year, we will have discussions and negotiations to decide how we will allocate federal transfers to the provinces.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not surprised by the deficits we are running up, because the Minister of Finance seems unable to count. He continues to deny figures that are perfectly clear, figures arrived at through his own budget calculations.

Would the minister acknowledge that, as of 1999, in four years' time, Quebec will no longer receive any transfer payments for social programs, but will in fact have to send a cheque to Ottawa for the Canada social transfer paid to other provinces?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, ages ago, discussions were held between the provinces and the federal government, and tax points were transferred to the provinces as the result of these discussions. Quebec in fact received more tax points than other provinces.

However, the Minister of Human Resources Development, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and I have clearly indicated our intention to begin negotiations with the provinces to enable both the federal government and the provinces to straighten out and stabilize public finances.

Now, as to the first point, where the Leader of the Opposition was finding fault with my figures, I would suggest that, if he does not agree with equalization payments, he should say so. However, if he agrees that Quebec benefits enormously from equalization payments, he will acknowledge that my figures are valid.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if I were the minister, I would feel somewhat embarrassed about alluding to equalization payments, given that his first act in January 1994 was to cap equalization payments thereby depriving the provinces of $1.5 billion over the next five years.

The minister acknowledges that the federal government is hastening its withdrawal from transfer payments for social programs. Under these conditions, how can he talk seriously of a cost effective and flexible federal system, when he will be depriving Quebec of $2.5 billion over the next two years and when Ottawa will no longer pay a cent to fund social programs by 1999, all the while maintaining its tax base and claiming to set national standards in Quebec?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:15 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 do not know where the Leader of the Opposition keeps getting these misleading figures, which have no basis in reality. Perhaps they help his argument. Some of his figures are global, but, as we have already said, we are going to have to negotiate with the provinces individually.

As for equalization payments, we have signed the agreement with the provinces. In other words, we have succeeded in reaching an agreement, something the previous government, of which the Leader of the Opposition was a member, had refused to do during its term of office.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

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

According to a midday report by the CBC's Johanne McDuff, the Krever Commission was told that, in the 1980s, Connaught Laboratories, the Canadian blood fractionation centre, got their blood product supplies from the United States and that most of the blood came from prison inmates in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who are very high risk donors. To hide this fact, Connaught Laboratories put Canadian Red Cross labels on these products.

Given the seriousness of these revelations, does the minister intend to intercede with her colleague, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, to get him to lay criminal charges against those who falsified products knowingly or were involved in these manipulations which had tragic consequences?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are taking these matters very seriously. We put aside $12 million for the Krever inquiry commission, and we want to wait for Justice Krever's report on the problems experienced with the blood supply system in the 1980s.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have had enough of the minister's irresponsible, thoughtless rhetoric in this matter.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Given the seriousness of this morning's revelations, does the minister not realize that she must take immediate action against those responsible for this scandal?