House of Commons Hansard #219 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cn.

Topics

Income Tax Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried. When shall the bill be read a third time? Now?

Income Tax Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Income Tax Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray for the Minister of Finance

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Income Tax Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

David Walker Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to again rise in support of speedy passage of Bill C-70, an act to amend the Income Tax Act.

As the House is aware, the bill will implement a number of measures relating to taxation that were introduced in the 1994 budget, along with certain others announced by the government over the last year.

In moving to third reading, it is again appropriate to remind ourselves of the context of this legislation. The fiscal challenge facing the country is familiar to us all. Few dispute the need for tough action and that difficult choices face us all. Surely we will all agree that fairness and effectiveness must be essential guiding principles of the steps we have to overcome in our challenge in dealing with the deficit.

These principles have guided the government as we have worked to restrain spending. They have guided the minister in crafting the budgets of 1994 and again in 1995. In both cases, spending cuts alone could not deliver the deficit reductions that Canada needs. Rigorous government restraint needed to be complemented with some measures on the tax side.

Doing so for us was simply a question of fairness. It was our vision of fairness that guided us as we looked at the tax system, addressing unsustainable tax preferences instead of imposing general tax hikes on Canadian taxpayers.

In looking at the corporate tax regime we sought to ensure that corporations paid their fair share of the tax revenues needed to fund government programs and to prevent certain businesses or sectors from taking undue advantage of certain tax provisions.

With this in mind, the 1994 budget proposed a number of measures to the rules governing the taxation of business income. Our goal, and let me stress this, was not to penalize the business sector or to impede the competitiveness of Canadian corporations. In fact, we believe that it is essential to maintain a competitive tax system in today's global economy.

I would like to now outline some of the specific measures from the 1994 budget which have been reflected in Bill C-70.

One fairness issue this legislation addresses is the tax rules dealing with debt forgiveness and foreclosures. Under the old provisions of the Income Tax Act many transactions involving the settlement of debt were not recognized in any meaningful way for income tax purposes.

The new rules provide a comprehensive basis to deal with debt settlement. In general, they provide that forgiven debt amounts will be applied to a loss carried forward and expenses are partially included in the debtor's income. I should point out, however, there are special relieving rules to minimize undue hardship from these new rules.

Let me now turn to the tax treatment of securities held by financial institutions. Until now the Income Tax Act has not provided specific rules regarding the tax treatment of such securities. The measures under Bill C-70 seek to reduce uncertainty in this regard and also to ensure that the income derived from such securities is measured appropriately. The amendments provide that certain securities will be marked to market, meaning that the

appreciation or depreciation in their value each year must be recognized in that year.

In keeping with our goal of fairness, the amendments include a transitional rule that allow increases in income resulting from the new rules to be spread over five years. These new measures have been generally effective after February 21, 1994.

In addition, new rules are provided for debt securities that are not required to be marked to market. These rules deal with the measurement of income while the securities are-

Income Tax Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will have the floor when we return to debate.

The House resumed consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-69, an act to provide for the establishment of electoral boundaries commissions and the readjustment of electoral boundaries; and of the amendment.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

June 15th, 1995 / 1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Earlier today the Chair had a request for the deferral on the division of the amendment to the amendment relating to Bill C-69.

I would ask the whips to consult with each other and I hope they manage to agree or at least produce a recommendation for the Chair.

I hope the whips would consult with each other. If the whips have not reached a decision, I will return to the House at 4 p.m. and I will set a time for the vote at that time.

There was a request for a vote at 1.30 p.m. That is a moot point. We are past 1.30 p.m. and now I would like the whips to discuss it and if they cannot arrive at a decision I will decide at 4 p.m.

The hon. member for Roberval, on a point of order.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order which concerns the procedure in this House. When a whip asks for a division to be deferred-and I looked up a number of precedents-the Chair always defers the division at the request of the whip who rises in the House, when there is just one.

Perhaps you could tell us why you are now asking the whips to consult with each other, since there is only one valid request before the Chair and, in our opinion, the Chair must consider that request?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I asked for a little more time, since question period will start in a few minutes, to review what happened. I would like some time to do that.

Furthermore, I would ask the whips to consult with each other. If they are willing, perhaps it would be unnecessary to have a decision from the Chair.

However, should it be necessary, I will announce my decision at 4 p.m.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, Standing Order 45(5)(a)(ii) clearly states:

During the sounding of the bells, either the Chief Government Whip or the Chief Opposition Whip may ask the Speaker to defer the division.

That is what happened.

The Speaker then defers it to a specific time, which must be no later than the ordinary hour of daily adjournment on the next sitting day that is not a Friday.

That occurred. The opposition whip asked for a deferral. Five minutes later the government whip stood up and gave a speech asking not to defer it. He asked for a time of 1.30. Two different times were asked: deferral of the vote until the next sitting day which would be tomorrow and subsequently would have to wait until Monday or 1.30 p.m. today. The 1.30 p.m. today has expired so there has been no valid request by the government whip. The request of the opposition whip must be respected and accepted.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the whip of the Reform Party for his opinions. I will surely take them under advisement when I make my decision at 4.00 p.m.

It being 2.00 p.m., the House will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Co-Operative Education
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, a group of co-op students from the University of New Brunswick are visiting the capital today. They are here to encourage development of new and exciting co-operative education programs in Canada. These programs are made up of six work terms for two years in total of valuable work experience for every participant.

Students, especially those who work away from school and home, develop personal skills such as independence and time management. Co-op students are also given the opportunity to acquire vital contacts with employers. Out of 37 co-ops graduating from UNB this year, only five are still searching for a job.

Most non co-op students only begin the job hunt on graduation. The most immediate and tangible benefit from the co-op program is financial. The program funds the students' educations with little or no assistance required. The students of UNB ask our government to encourage the development of co-op programs.

Patented Drugs
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' insistence at the beginning of this session on amending the legislation on patented drugs is hard to explain from an economic point of view. In fact, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board announced this week that patented drug prices fell by nearly 0.5 per cent in 1994.

Since 1987, when the legislation came into force, patented drug prices have risen an average of only 2.1 per cent, below the rate of inflation, while drug prices generally rose an average of 7.5 per cent. In other words, generic drugs were the ones to increase significantly in price.

In addition to containing their prices, manufacturers of patented drugs invested $561 million in research and development last year, which is more than they are committed to do. The Liberals should stop harassing a major industry that has a considerable impact on the economies of Quebec and Canada.

Free Votes
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, after the 1993 election, my party asked if I would take on the responsibility of dealing with the issue of parliamentary reform. I quickly came to the conclusion that the main issue was freer voting. It is not just the situation where the leaders of the government side would declare a particular bill the subject of a free vote, but the situation where parties allow dissent to occur, true dissent on particular government bills, bills that form part of the government program.

It was the opinion of those involved in the writing of the McGrath report in 1985 and those who sat on the House management committee in 1993 that dissent should be allowed to be expressed without fear of retaliation by the leadership of the political party concerned. Both groups believe the expression of dissent would make the House a healthier place.

I am pleased to see that members on both sides of this House are beginning to express themselves in dissent. However, in order for freer voting to occur, the fear of reprisals by party leadership must disappear. I hope the leadership on the government side will respect the dissent that has been expressed as a healthy part of our democratic system and that no reprisals will come to those expressing dissent.