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 children.

Topics

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health as well.

The Minister of Health said a few weeks ago that we should vote for a party other than the Liberals if they failed to get their tobacco control legislation passed before the next election. So, yesterday once again, the minister put off the official announcement of the tobacco control measures he plans to propose.

How does the Minister of Health explain his last minute retreat? Could it have anything to do with the numerous leaks about a possible increase in the price of cigarettes, resulting in speculation in the tobacco market?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I think the House would really like to know where the hon. member stands and in particular where the Bloc stands as it relates to tobacco legislation.

As I indicated yesterday both in the House and outside the House, we are in the process of finalizing our package. It will be comprehensive and we will bring it forward soon.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, we see a lot of smoke signals, but the message is unclear.

Does the minister realize that he struck out again, because he has very awkwardly placed the Minister of Finance in an absolutely untenable position? Does he realize that?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I accept the premise of the hon. member's question that he is concerned about tobacco legislation. I would hope that the hon. member and members of the Bloc would support the government's initiative which is to reduce tobacco consumption particularly among youth which causes in this country and in the province of Quebec 11,000 deaths every year.

I look forward to and thank the hon. member for his support on the tobacco legislation.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the leak of the government's tobacco taxation measure is an extremely serious breach of parliamentary convention. When tax changes are leaked, insiders are given the ability to manipulate the stock market. In the past the Liberals have called for the resignation of other finance ministers over similar breaches. This is of particular concern when it is clear that the boards of directors of tobacco companies are interchangeable with the Liberal Party hierarchy.

Can the finance minister tell us why this tax measure was leaked, who leaked it, and what action he has taken to ensure that the financial integrity of the government is not compromised again?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, as is his wont, is engaging in idle speculation. The government will make an announcement when there is an announcement to be made.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal ties to the big tobacco industry are well known. Yesterday's actions by the government made it clear that it puts its friends in tobacco above the health of young Canadians. How ironic that yesterday was National Child Day. The finance minister needs to explain to Canadians why he and his government have sacrificed the health of our children so that his friends in the tobacco industry are appeased.

Is this legislation being blocked by the finance minister, a former director of Imasco?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, both the substance and the tone of the question are inappropriate. The response to the substance of the question is absolutely not.

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

November 21st, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance.

In its analysis of corporate taxation presented this week, the Bloc suggested abolishing the partial capital gains exemption for businesses and using the money, which represents nearly one half billion dollars annually, to offer small businesses a tax rebate tied to their job creation performance.

If the Minister of Finance wants to demonstrate his concern for fairness and job creation, is he prepared to make a commitment before this House to eliminate this useless expenditure immediately and allocate the money saved to tax measures that will promote employment?

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, the hon. member must be aware that this committee looked into the matter a few years ago, and at the time, the government made a survey of small businesses in Canada to find out whether the $500,000 exemption was helpful in creating jobs, or whether we should find another way.

All small business associations in Canada, including those in Quebec, and most small businesses that appeared before the

Standing Committee on Finance or met with government officials said that this exemption was crucial to maintain fairness, and is still crucial for creating jobs, and that is our position.

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I was misunderstood. I was not referring to the capital gains exemption on the first $500,000 but the partial inclusion of capital gains which consists in taxing only 75 per cent of capital gains and leaving the remaining 25 per cent fully tax exempt.

The minister referred to the Standing Committee on Finance. So far, at the hearings we had in June, July and August, the conclusion was unanimous: this measure is a very costly one, and there is no good reason for keeping it. When even the Canadian Bankers' Association wants to see it abolished, that certainly means something. So we have $500 million annually that is absolutely nothing. The purpose of this measure was to avoid double taxation where there was a wealth tax. Today, the government takes $500 million and just throws it away, especially in the pockets of the wealthiest in this country.

Will the minister promise to eliminate this unnecessary tax expenditure and allocate $500 million annually to job creation?

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member is wrong. We have analyzed the situation. The vast majority of small companies in the high-tech sector, a very important industry in Quebec, have told us that to increase their equity, to raise capital, it was very important to have access to research and development credits.

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No, no.

Capital Gains
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Yes, yes. Capital gains are used to raise money. Unfortunately, the hon. member does not understand. In fact, I can tell you that people with the FTQ solidarity funds said they agreed with this exemption because it helped them raise money.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1969 the Liberal minister of Indian affairs said: "The government believes that its policies must lead to the full, free and non-discriminatory participation of the Indian people in Canadian society. It requires that the Indian people's role of dependence be replaced by a role of equal status, opportunity and responsibility, a role they can share with all other Canadians".

Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell Canadians why the Prime Minister, the Liberal government and the Liberal Party have abandoned this equality principle, this common sense approach to solving the serious problems being experienced by aboriginal people in this country?