House of Commons Hansard #203 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Trough Night In Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday night Canadians saw a great game on TV. It was trough night in Canada. The game featured the Liberal pork patrons against the overburdened taxpayers. The Liberals were clutching and grabbing for their coveted MP pension trophy.

In the first period Liberals were given penalties for boarding, the gravy train that is. Another penalty was given for charging the taxpayer. The Liberal pork patrons went offside with Canadian voters. The overburdened taxpayer delayed the game and got five minutes for fighting and ten minutes for drawing blood. They will get the final score in the next election. When that comes the Liberal pork patrons will lose, the coach will be replaced and the team will be dismantled.

This game was brought to the people by greed incorporated, manufacturers of pork and patronage.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Quebec minister responsible for restructuring released a new study, this time on taxation.

In his press release, the minister claims that merging the two tax systems would permit Quebec to, I quote: "-reap many benefits". The minister stressed that taxpayers would have only one tax return to fill out, that they would have fewer officials to deal with, and that taxation measures would be harmonized and streamlined.

What is surprising is that the authors of this study made the conscious decision not to mention that Quebecers could already be reaping all of these benefits if the Quebec government would only agree to the changes already proposed by our government.

All of these changes could be made very easily within the current federal system and at a much lower cost to Quebecers

than those that would result from breaking away from Canada. But these are the kinds of things that separatists avoid mentioning.

Ontario Election
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Premier Bob Rae said today that Ontario has 38 per cent of the population but is being hit with 54 per cent of federal government cuts. This is deliberately misleading.

When we subtract the equalization payments to the poorer provinces, which Mr. Rae has frequently said he supports, Ontario's share of federal budget cuts is 39 per cent for 38 per cent of the population.

Bob Rae should stop whining, take a few Rae days and get out of the way so Lyn McLeod and the Liberal Party can put Ontario's House in order.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

May 17th, 1995 / 2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, although somewhat late in the day, the Minister of Human Resources Development finally used some common sense and decided to give up his two-tier unemployment insurance system, with one tier for the seasonally unemployed, with reduced benefits, and the second tier for the rest, with more substantial benefits. However, there is still cause for concern, since the minister said he still wanted to make frequent claimants less dependent on unemployment insurance and planned to submit new proposals to cabinet very shortly.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that his government has definitely abandoned the minister's baby, and I am referring to the unemployment insurance reform proposal for a two-tier system, and is he prepared to make a commitment that the new proposals will not penalize frequent claimants, although the minister seems to be saying that he still has the same objective in mind?

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question.

As the member knows, we had a wide variety of representations, studies and examinations. It was certainly recognized that the primary objective of UI reform must be to help people get back to work. We can use that system not simply to pay basic benefits but to also enable people to get the tools they need to restore themselves back in the labour market. That is still the primary function of our intention on unemployment insurance.

We saw with the various options we presented, one of which was the two tier proposal, that it would add complexity to the system and probably additional cost. I think we can find a much better alternative which will simplify the system and at the same time provide a much better set of work incentives for people to get back in the workforce.

We are still very much on target and on aim to enable Canadians to get away from unemployment and get into employment, the whole purpose of our reform.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to what the minister said in his answer, and after trying very hard, I think I understood the minister was giving up his plan. I want to commend him for doing so, since a minister who admits his mistakes gains in stature. Would that others followed his example.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

My question is directed to the Prime Minister, and I hope to get an answer from him. Since the government is about to review its unemployment insurance reform, will he promise to stop using the Unemployment Insurance Fund to finance new intrusions by the federal government in provincial jurisdictions, especially in manpower training?

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development will table a bill this fall that covers all aspects of the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Human Resources Development claims he will stay the course, in other words, restrict access to unemployment insurance for frequent claimants, does this mean, and my question is directed to the Prime Minister, that the government's real objective is not to make the system more effective but to reduce costs by restricting access and reducing benefits, which means it will again be hitting hard at the unemployed?

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said a few minutes ago, the government's objective is to ensure that people can work. This government's objective is to create jobs, and the aim of reforms in unemployment insurance and other social programs is to make it possible for people to work with dignity instead of being completely dependent on unemployment insurance or welfare.

That is why the minister wants to reform the system, and we will have a chance to discuss this when the minister tables his reform proposals this fall. This reform is badly needed, because

these programs were introduced 30 or 40 years ago, and the time has come to make some adjustments.

Peacekeepers In Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

As fighting intensified in Sarajevo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated yesterday that he was unhappy with the current situation, stating that the peace plan was going nowhere. He also indicated that he would soon be consulting with the French and British authorities, hinting that a pullout from Bosnia could be closer than ever.

Does the Prime Minister confirm what his Minister of Foreign Affairs said yesterday about the possibility of Canada withdrawing its peacekeepers from Bosnia in a few weeks?

[English]

Peacekeepers In Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada calls on both parties to withdraw their forces from the zones of separation.

Canada's position all along has been that the conflict can only be resolved at the diplomatic table, politically, not by military means. That is still Canada's position.

The minister made it very clear Canada will not withdraw its forces unilaterally. We are consulting with our partners, France, Great Britain, et cetera.

Peacekeepers In Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Prime Minister or, again, the parliamentary secretary tell us whether Canada is prepared to consider UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's suggestion that UN troops in Bosnia be reduced and regrouped?

Peacekeepers In Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the situation is obviously very complicated in that part of the world at this time. As the hon. parliamentary secretary said, Canada belongs to a group of countries ensuring a military presence in the area and we have agreed not to withdraw without first consulting with our partners. The French have indicated that they were contemplating pulling out, but if and when they do, it will not be unilaterally, since they have asked us not to withdraw our forces unilaterally.

As far as we are concerned, any suggestion from the UN secretary-general deserves to be considered because peacekeepers are under UN command.

So, consultations are under way with the secretary-general, and we will inform the House of any new development.