House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I thought there for a minute I missed a day this week.

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said in his budget speech that when new and significant savings were realized with respect to unemployment insurance, it would be possible to reduce premiums even further, and he would make sure that this happened. Well, this morning we are told that the minister is seriously considering raising the unemployment insurance surplus to $15 billion.

My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Why does the minister want to accumulate a surplus of $15 billion in the unemployment insurance fund instead of reducing premiums, when he himself said that a reduction of seven cents would create 40,000 jobs over two years and that he would be able to reduce this payroll tax to a significant extent?

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the report to which the hon. member is referring is a report by the chief actuary of the Department of Human Resources Development, who prepared a study that found that if we want to accumulate a surplus in the account, to avoid going through what the last government did, we would need a surplus of between ten and fifteen billion dollars.

That being said, I would like to point out to the hon. member that when we came to power, the previous government had intended to raise unemployment insurance premiums to $3.30. We froze them at $3.07 and then reduced them to $3 and reduced them again last year to $2.95. Last year, we reduced premiums by $1.8 billion, which saved taxpayers money on unemployment insurance.

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal government came to power, it deliberately increased unemployment insurance premiums. It was the first thing it did as far as economic policy was concerned.

We are accused of not asking a whole lot of questions about jobs. I accuse the government of never having an answer on the subject. The Minister of Finance is more concerned about his millionaires than about the unemployed.

Here is my question, and I expect a reply. Does the minister realize that by wanting to accumulate a surplus of $15 billion in the unemployment insurance fund and by refusing to reduce premiums for employers and employees, he has deliberately ordered a tax of $15 billion on employment?

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, the report to which the hon. member referred was drafted by an actuary, by an expert who said: "If you want a surplus, it will take from ten to fifteen billion dollars".

Now the hon. member is talking about jobs. Since we came to power, more than three quarter of a million new jobs were created by Canadians. At the beginning of the year, more than 200,000 new jobs were created by this government. During the month of August, more than 82,000 jobs were created by Canadians. Yesterday, we saw that Canada's economic growth is not only very strong but that the IMF says that next year, Canada will have the strongest economic growth rate of any G7 country. Canadians are doing very well, thank you!

Somalia
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Globe and Mail reported that Captain Alvis, a U.S. Green Beret officer, ordered a Canadian soldier to fire on a Somali.

Later Captain Alvis denied even being in Somalia at the time of the incident even though his interview had been taped. However, later last night he said that basically the report was accurate but to disregard the part about the shooting.

Will the minister of defence please tell us exactly what happened at that bridge in Belet Huen?

Somalia
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was confused when I read the Globe and Mail yesterday morning. I was confused when I saw the individual on television last night. I am even more confused with the interpretation of events by this hon. member in the House today.

The fact is certain allegations were made in a newspaper. They have been called into question. That is not a matter for me to debate.

Somalia
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, all I asked was to get to the bottom of the facts of what happened at the bridge at Belet Huen. I cannot believe this minister is refusing to answer.

An individual is dead from a Canadian soldier's bullet. We know that the military tried to cover up the murder of Shidane Arone in Somalia. It has misreported and misrepresented the death of Corporal MacKinnon at Suffield. Now the minister refuses to give the Canadian public the facts on what happened in Somalia in this instance. Why does he not come clean?

Somalia
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government

has given the Canadian people a commission of inquiry to look into all the matters of concern to the hon. member. Let it do its job.

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for many years, the official opposition has been accusing the government of favouring the carrier Canadian at the expense of Air Canada, which employs 7,000 people in Quebec. We are not the only ones to say so. Last week, the international executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airlines, the main carrier in Hong Kong, stated: "There is a lot of politics behind this decision-I think that Canada is trying not to put too much pressure on Canadian International".

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Oh, oh!

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

If the Minister for Human Resources Development could be quiet, I could carry on. Mr. Speaker, could the minister please stop talking? He is being insolent.

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

He is not even polite.

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

He knows what he is talking about.