House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

October 28th, 1996 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, since the Liberals took office in Ottawa, federal investments in Quebec have constantly been decreasing, going down from 19.7 per cent of total Canadian investments in 1993 to 15.4 per cent this year. Normally, Quebec should have been entitled to one quarter of federal investments.

How can the Prime Minister, who bragged this past weekend about what he had in store for Quebec, explain this decrease in federal investments in Quebec since he took office?

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is making a somewhat selective use of data. The fact is we just announced a number of federal investment initiatives in Quebec, and particularly in Montreal.

These include an investment announced last week in the aeronautical industry; an investment in the Mitel plant, located in Bromont; an investment in the biotechnology institute, at the

national research centre, and the maintaining of the space agency, among others.

Given that almost 41 per cent of tax credits for research and development are claimed in Quebec, these sectors are well supported by the federal government.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not get the meaning of my question. Since the Liberals took office, public investments in Quebec have decreased, in relation to the rest of the country. Federal investments have decreased in Quebec in the last three years. This is what we are saying.

The Prime Minister tells us this is related to the bidding process. Maybe once or twice, but after 15 years one begins to wonder. This is systematic discrimination.

This is what my supplementary is about. Does the Prime Minister or the Minister of Industry find it normal that, for the past 15 years, again according to this recent study by Statistics Canada, federal investments in Quebec have accounted for only 16.4 per cent of federal spending, instead of 25 per cent, thus resulting in a shortfall of close to $4 billion for Quebec? This is a lot of money and a lot of jobs that the Liberal government, and its Conservative predecessor, deliberately refused to create in Quebec.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am always disturbed by the representations made by regional parties in the House. They seem to believe that each investment should be equally divided among all the provinces.

Does the hon. member think it would be better if the investment announced last Monday regarding Canadair were divided equally between all Canadians?

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Maybe he could explain that at the economic summit.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Ottawa South, ON

Does he think all tax credits for research and development should be divided? Should all the networks of centres of excellence be divided fairly among the provinces?

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

It would interesting to discuss this at the economic summit. For one thing, they like to get federal money.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Ottawa South, ON

To say that this idea was really not based on economic and industrial development is simply false.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

It is blackmail.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Sometimes we have a couple of microphones open and inadvertently other voices come over the intercom.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister and his Liberal cronies sipped wine over the weekend and said no to lower taxes, ordinary Canadians were trying to figure out how they were going to pay for next week's groceries.

Here is the story. Disposable income is down $3,000 per family, 1.4 million Canadians are out of work, another 1 million have stopped looking for work, 2 million are underemployed and one in four workers is worried about losing their job.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his unwillingness to shrink and focus his government and leave more money in the pockets of taxpayers and job creators is the real reason he and his government are failing to fulfil their promise to create jobs, jobs, jobs?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the House leader has already stated we have created 700,000 jobs in the private sector.

Let me read a commentary on the Reform Party's policy from Dr. Ruth Getter, chief economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank: "What the government has done with its restraint that it has put in place is really quite remarkable and we have got this kind of environment in the economy that is ready to take off. If at this point you say cut even more so you can cut taxes, it is not clear to me that you could accomplish anything by that".

That is what the Reform Party is saying, that it wants to accomplish nothing.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish the hon. member would go to the 1.4 million unemployed people out there and ask for a mark from them on their record of creating jobs, jobs, jobs.

Despite recognition earlier this year that infrastructure and other make work programs failed to create real jobs, the Prime Minister stood up in front of his Liberal cronies this weekend and promised to return to this boondoggle form of governance.

Can the Prime Minister tell Canadians why now he is talking about spending any future budget surplus on bloating the size of government rather than giving consumers and job creators the tax relief they need to create the real jobs that people are demanding?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am really interested to hear the Reform Party talking about jobs and social programs. Believing that the Reform Party has a social conscience is like believing that Count Dracula was a blood donor.

What would the Reform Party's policies do? The Reform Party's policies would tax the poor to pay the rich. It would eliminate the high income surtax. That means $100 lower taxes for the $30,000 a year person and $1,200 lower taxes for the $100,000 a year person.

That is not in the cards in our program. Let the Reform Party sell that one to the public.

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The rapidly escalating conflict in eastern Zaire between Tutsi rebels and the Zairian army is on the point of culminating in a human catastrophe far worse than that in Rwanda in 1994. More than one million Rwandan refugees have been cut off, and 500,000 of them are fleeing the country.

With aid workers forced to leave the area and the planned airlift to rescue refugees in danger of being called off, can the minister give an update on the situation and indicate what his government intends to do to help avoid a repetition of the 1994 tragedy?