House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport had a bit more to say. I see that things are changing perhaps somewhat. The Minister of Transport told us that there was no question of more money being injected in the current situation. To my knowledge, the situation has worsened with the resignation of the board of directors.

The Globe and Mail also pointed out on the weekend that the government was prepared to help Canadian if employees agreed to the company's restructuring plan, which included a salary cut of 10 per cent.

Could the Prime Minister also assure us that his government is not getting ready to provide renewed assistance to Canadian should the employees agree to the restructuring plan?

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

No, Mr. Speaker, the government has no intention of putting money into Canadian in this particular situation.

The hon. member opposite spoke of the employees at Canadian. I think it is important for the House to know that the Minister of Transport had this to say to the Air Transportation Association of Canada in Montreal just a couple of hours ago. He said:

I know it requires very difficult decisions from the employees-employees who have sacrificed much already. I have always been impressed by the dedication of Canadian Airlines employees, their commitment to quality, their commitment to service, and their belief in their airline. That dedication, and that spirit, will be just as crucial to Canadian's future as to its past.

Structural problems require structural solutions. The president of Canadian Airlines has brought them forward. We hope that Cana-

dian Airlines is successful and remains another one of our proud airlines in this country.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to assume that there is some slight problem, since the entire board of directors resigned. I would assume something is awry.

The federal government has also, we think, made a mistake in allowing American Airlines to acquire a significant number of Canadian shares. This did not enable Canadian to become cost effective, as we have seen. On the contrary, this decision gives rise to concerns over American control of the air transportation industry.

Would the Prime Minister make a commitment to not change the legislation and the regulations in the air transportation sector, which would have the effect of allowing greater foreign, especially American, involvement in this sector?

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Airlines has not come forward to this government with any proposal to increase foreign investment.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

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

In the event that Canadian, a major air carrier in Canada, goes bankrupt, the government would havet to decide on the redistribution of the international routes it currently holds.

Can the Prime Minister guarantee today that he will not allow foreign companies to get hold of these international routes and that he will preserve the Canadian character of this industry?

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unlike the member opposite, this government is not going to practise the politics of division. We are going to hope that Canadian Airlines is successful. We do not want to look at the glass half empty, as the hon. member does so well.

Canadian is doing the best job it can. Right now it is trying to restructure to ensure that it is a viable airline in this country, and that is what we are hoping for. We are not looking down the road at the failure that this hon. member hopes to see, obviously, in the way he has been questioning this government.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, by not being forward looking to the future, this government is going to ensure that Canadian has no future whatsoever.

Canadian's financial difficulties also directly affect the public purse, for the company has to repay loans from the federal government.

Can the Prime Minister commit to bring pressure to bear on Canadian as a debtor in order to encourage the only possible solution, namely amalgamation of Canadian and Air Canada, the only way to ensure the future of this industry and the only way to save thousands of jobs?

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Airlines, again we say, has brought forward a plan to restructure its airline. Let us have a look at the plan that President Kevin Benson has brought forward. Let us hope that the plan, in concert with the contributions that would be made by the employees of Canadian, would help to see this airline get back on its feet and be a viable competitor in the airline industry in this country.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

November 18th, 1996 / 2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, since national child day is on Wednesday, the government should take a look at a recent Angus Reid survey. It shows that 57 per cent of parents with young children work simply to make ends meet. A majority of those same people would like to have the freedom to have one parent stay at home with their kids if they could afford to do that.

This government needs to make Canadian families a priority. It needs to lesson their tax burden and give parents back some choice in how they raise their own children.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why will the government not convert the child care deduction into a tax credit and extend it to all parents with children 12 years or younger, including those parents who choose to raise their kids at home?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the reality of child poverty in this country, which is a rich country, is of course of major concern to the Government of Canada.

Last week the Canadian Council on Social Development reported that most children in Canada are doing well. That is partly good news. However, we cannot ignore those children who actually live in poverty. This is why campaign 2000 recognized that the major reason for children not doing well is unemployment. For this reason, this government is insisting a great deal on improving the economic climate in this country. That is the way we will be able to do more.

This government has already done quite a lot in the last few years. This government has doubled the working income supplement provided to low income families. The Canadian government spends more than $5 billion a year on child tax benefits that has been paid to three million Canadian families already.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the minister talks about campaign 2000, we have our own plan for that as well, and that is that every Canadian family would have a tax break of $2,000 by the year 2000. I think that would be far more practical.

The Reform's fresh start platform makes Canadian families a priority. It will increase the spousal exemption by over $2,500 and extend child care deductions to all parents, including those who choose to raise their kids at home. That was my initial question and I did not hear anything like an answer for that, and so I will just ask it again.

What sort of specific tax relief does the minister have to offer Canadian families?

First, why will he not consider raising the spousal exemption, which would be a fairly simple thing to do, and second, to extend the child care deduction to all parents?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member cares to take a look at the existing provisions for married families, as my colleague has said, first of all in the last budget we doubled the working income supplement for families with four children by $1,000. At the same time the married credit exists which reduces income taxes by as much as $1,500 a year. There is a special supplement out of the child tax benefit for parents who care for preschool children at home.

The fact is if one takes a look at the vast range of policies introduced by this government and by previous Liberal governments, the hon. member will see that it is concern for children that has been upper most in the government's mind. If one would like to compare that to the vast majority of recommendations from the Reform Party, which would maintain the level of poverty as opposed to alleviating it, one would begin to understand that the line in the sand has been drawn and no amount of camouflage by the Reform Party will hide that.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, our recommendation is that parents who choose to raise their kids at home up to age 12 should be celebrated, not just the preschool ones he talks about.

The average Canadian family pays a staggering 46 per cent of its income in taxes. Children across the country are living in families where both parents are stressed out from having to work nights and weekends to pay for this Liberal government's spending habits.

Canadians have suffered a $3,000 pay cut since this government took office in 1993, and the finance minister knows that.

Instead of being satisfied with the status quo of high taxes, why will the minister not simply balance the budget and then give Canadian families some much deserved, much needed tax relief?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, why does the hon. member not admit where she and her party are going to find the money to provide the tax cut for the rich? The first area in which they will find it is by abolishing the Canada pension plan which is very crucial for Canadian families. It is the principal source of support. Under the Reform Party the Canada pension plan will disappear.

The second thing they will do is eliminate equalization for a number of provinces. Is she saying that people who live in Saskatchewan or Nova Scotia do not have families and are not entitled to the same level of public services as Canadians in other provinces?

The Reform Party would eliminate the maternal benefits under the employment insurance program. Is the hon. member in the process of saying that people who are on employment insurance are not entitled to maternal benefits?

Let us understand that what the Reform Party is suggesting is that in fact those programs which go to help low income families, families on welfare and middle income families would be gutted and eviscerated by the Reform Party in order to take care of the richer people in this country. This government will never accept that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Before the House adjourned, probably looking for an excuse to extol the virtues of the employment insurance reform, the Minister of Human Resources Development stated, and I quote: "Five hundred thousand Canadians who were not previously covered by unemployment insurance will now qualify".

Will the minister confirm that, instead of more Canadian workers being covered, starting on January 1, 1997, some 500,000 workers, mainly very low wage earners working fewer than 15 hours per week, will start paying premiums they are not required to pay at present, while the vast majority of them will never receive benefits because they will not qualify?