House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was families.

Topics

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the attitude of the Minister of Canadian Heritage not an embarrassment to the government? She, despite being the person responsible for the application of the Official Languages Act, is just about the only one left refusing to see that the assimilation of francophones outside Quebec continues to progress in leaps and bounds.

Why does the minister persist in denying such evidence?

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member really wants to combat the problem of anglicization across Canada, he ought to talk to his Quebec colleague, the Minister of Education, who has just raised by 70 per cent tuition fees for francophones from the rest of Canada wishing to study in Quebec. If the hon. member really wants to ensure the survival of the French language in Canada, he should talk to his friend, Mrs. Marois, and tell her to drop this anti-French policy.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, a study shows that the inclusion of the new federal sales tax in all prices will cost millions of dollars. Computer systems have to be changed and there are the large annual costs of advertising,

ticketing, warehousing and distribution. All these costs will be passed on to already overtaxed consumers.

Will the minister stop this new burden on consumers in Atlantic Canada by withdrawing the required tax in pricing until the federal sales tax is implemented nationwide? It is a request made by Canadian retailers and strongly supported by the Reform Party.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the vast majority of retailers have already incurred the costs of transition. That occurred some time ago when the previous government brought in the GST. Therefore, the costs of transition are quite within the bounds of acceptability.

The ministers of finance of the three Atlantic provinces have agreed to meet with all of the retailers-in fact, that is happening at this very moment-to work out any difficulties which any retailer may have. The provincial governments and the federal government have said to those retailers that we would be quite flexible in making sure that the transition costs are manageable.

Now that those retailers can take the input tax credits there has been a substantial reduction in their costs which we expect will be passed on to the consumer.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, different information is coming from the retailers of Canada to us and to the minister.

The tax-in pricing policy was recommended by the Reform Party in its minority report on GST reform, but only in the context of a nationwide introduction of a federal sales tax. Reform, as well as national retailers, oppose tax in-pricing when it is applied only in Atlantic Canada because it costs too much and has already caused the closing of some retail outlets.

Will the minister stop trying to download on consumers in Atlantic Canada the costs of his party's indefensible, irresponsible and politically opportunistic election promise to eliminate the GST? Do the right thing and scrap the federal sales tax for Atlantic Canada.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that my friend is in the process of engaging in a little historic revisionism of what the Reform Party's position has been on this issue.

The Reform Party has supported harmonization publicly, not necessarily in the House, and it has also supported tax inclusive pricing. I congratulate the Reform Party for that. It is unfortunate that it now, for political purposes, chooses to forget its original position.

The hon. member knows full well that this will lead to a substantial reduction in costs for retailers. There will be a substantial reduction in costs for consumers.

For the sake of discussion, take a look at Newfoundland, where the reduction is between 4 per cent and 5 per cent. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick it is between a 3 per cent and a 4 per cent reduction on the vast majority of goods, all of those which were previously covered by the GST. In fact, this is very good for the consumer.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Order.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will sit down, but it really is a tremendous deal for Atlantic Canada.

Income Tax
Oral Question Period

November 21st, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

A lot of questions have been raised about Canadian corporations failing to pay their fair share of taxes. Furthermore, a lot of year end advertising encourages ordinary Canadians to take advantage of tax shelters.

Could the Minister of Finance tell the House what he is doing to ensure everyone pays their fair share?

Income Tax
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his work on the public accounts committee in this area. He is well aware that, since forming the government, we have worked with the Minister of National Revenue to eliminate abuse of the tax system.

We have made changes to the system that are very effective in eliminating loopholes. This week, for example, we announced, among other things, that tax shelters related to corporate funding would be limited.

Should you be interested, I can provide you with a list of tax benefits that were eliminated, such as the elimination of the $100,000 capital gains exemption and the imposition of a minimum tax on all deductions used as tax shelters. It goes on for three pages.

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Canada Post Corporation.

The few measures the minister has taken in response to the report on the future of Canada Post are totally contradictory. On the one hand, she denies it the lucrative activity of delivering advertising. On the other hand, she says the corporation must make its activities cost effective.

Could the minister tell us clearly whether her intention is not really to dismantle the Canada Post Corporation, because she is cutting its revenues and yet asking it to be cost effective?

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker.

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking only about dismantling Canada Post, which the minister does not seem to consider seriously, but rather the whole issue of jobs.

Is the minister aware that her decision to force Canada Post to stop delivering advertising mail will mean a loss of 10,000 jobs? Ten thousand jobs means ten thousand more unemployed.

Canada Post Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Radwanski travelled across the country and everywhere he went Canadians unanimously told him that they did not wish to have their post office delivering junk mail. As a result of that we asked Canada Post to cease delivering unaddressed economy ad mail or junk mail.

One thing that will happen as a result is that many community newspapers will be able to stay in business and many other small businesses will be able to increase the numbers of people they hire. The work will be transferred to the private sector and Canada Post will continue to do very well what Canadians expect of it, which is deliver first class mail.

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

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

The Atlantic groundfish strategy, otherwise known as TAGS, is off the rails and now we know why. This week we learned that the qualifying rules for TAGS had been ignored and each regional HRD office was making its own eligibility requirements. According to an internal department audit, and I quote from that audit: "The ignoring of these rules was one of the reasons for excessive cost over-runs".

How could the minister allow the gross incompetence which will deny benefits to legitimate fishermen who really need them?